Boost for drivers as millions delivered for EV chargepoints across the South East

Charging electric vehicles is set to get even easier thanks to hundreds of millions of funding made available for South East local authorities, homeowners and renters, it has been announced today (18 March).

The government continues to deliver its £381 million Local Electric Vehicle (LEVI) fund to councils, which can choose where is best to install chargepoints in their local area.

Following the approval of the first five local authority applications in February, payments to 44 additional councils from Torbay to Tees Valley have now been approved to help residents charge their vehicles, worth over £185m.

In the South East, the following councils are set to receive their funding:

  • Brighton and Hove City Council – £3,315,000
  • Buckinghamshire Council – £2,394,000
  • Isle of Wight Council – £1,940,000
  • Oxfordshire County Council – £4,184,000
  • Portsmouth City Council – £4,140,000
  • Reading Borough Council – £1,204,000
  • West Berkshire Council – £661,000
  • Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead – £1,254,000
  • Wokingham Council – £546,000

The funding will support the delivery of thousands of chargepoints across the South East, helping more drivers get from A to B easily and supporting families in making the switch.

Additionally, the local authorities who have already been allocated to the second round of LEVI funding will be able to apply to the fund from 2 April, following those who have received funding in the first round and in a further boost to the chargepoint rollout.

Technology and decarbonisation minister Anthony Browne said: “This government has a plan to help speed up the installation of EV chargepoints, which we’re getting on and delivering across the South East.

“This dedicated funding to local councils across the South East is part of our plan to ensure people can switch from a petrol or diesel car to an EV when they choose to do so.”

To further support EV drivers and families looking to switch to electric, the government is ensuring households without driveways or dedicated parking spaces can access the Electric Vehicle Chargepoint Grant.

Delivering on our Plan for Drivers commitment to make EVs a more practical option, the £350 grant will be widened to those who own or rent and have access to adequate street parking.

The funding will drive down the cost of EV ownership by providing up to 75% off the cost of purchasing and installing a chargepoint, and applicants must also have permission from their council to install a cross-pavement charging solution. Applications can be made online.

To help councils deliver EV infrastructure, the government-funded electric vehicle infrastructure training course will launch in full this week following a successful trial. The course is open to all local authorities and will cover key topics from technology to procurement.

LEVI funding has already helped to place almost 150 dedicated EV officers in councils to support chargepoint planning and delivery.

Ensuring collaboration between government and industry, today also marks the launch of the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Forum. The Forum, chaired by ministers and AA president Edmund King OBE, will discuss how best to tackle barriers and accelerate the delivery of charging infrastructure. Wider membership will be set out in due course.

Edmund King OBE said: “AA surveys show that one of the main reasons why many drivers are hesitant towards switching to EVs is the perception that there are not enough charging points.

“To give confidence to drivers now and for the future, we need to overcome these barriers which will help unlock cleaner, greener motoring for all. Extending grants to those without off-street parking is a step in the right direction.

“I’m proud to be co-chairing the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Forum as I’m committed to helping consumers transition to zero-emission vehicles and an efficient, affordable, accessible charging infrastructure is key to that. I’m also confident that the UK’s brilliant charging and automotive industry can deliver and play a key part in the UK’s Net Zero ambitions.”

More and more drivers are making the switch to electric vehicles, with fully electric vehicles accounting for over 16% of the new UK car market in 2023, according to industry statistics.

Government and industry are working to install chargepoints at speed, with 56,983 public chargepoints now installed across the UK – a 47% increase compared to this time last year.

Today’s announcement comes following the introduction of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate into law earlier this year, which is the most ambitious regulatory framework for the switch to electric vehicles of any country in the world. 

The ZEV mandate requires 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030, and 100% by 2035, providing certainty to both consumers and industry while helping to safeguard skilled UK jobs in the car industry.

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