DfT grants £2.5m in new funding for EV charging infrastructure

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced an extra £2.5m of funding for electric vehicle charging stations. The extra funding has been introduced to make the charging of electric vehicles more widespread and convenient in order to promote their use and encourage growth in the low-emission vehicle market.

The funding will support the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, originally introduced in 2017 to help people access charging infrastructure near their homes. This extra £2.5m doubles the previous investment in the scheme which has already seen success in some areas. Sixteen local authorities have already begun preparations to install 1,200 charging stations this year. The DfT predicts that the new investment will fund the installation of over 1,000 more new charging stations. This investment follows a 158 per cent increase in fully electric vehicle sales this year.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced the new funding, claiming that building the new infrastructure is necessary “to super-charge the zero emission revolution” across the UK. However, there remains some scepticism about the process of electric vehicle infrastructure rollouts. Jamie Brownlee, the director of Greentarget UK, a finance consultancy firm, has raised concerns about the future patterns of consumer behaviour which may create risk in these business models. He likens investments in electric vehicle infrastructure projects to venture capital investments rather than traditional infrastructure capital, due to the market uncertainty inherent in emerging markets. Some of these uncertainties pertain to different technology types used in different charging stations, the availability of charging locations and uncertainties surrounding the multiple software developers and operating systems which may need to work together to create coherent charging infrastructure that works with all of the many new electric vehicles appearing in the market. Brownlee predicts that “closer involvement from public stakeholders should enable greater visibility on these risks and increase the availability of private capital”.

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