Innovation and changeDigital TransformationJust five councils take advantage of electric car scheme

Just five councils take advantage of electric car scheme

Just five councils in the whole of the UK have taken advantage of a multi-million pound electric car scheme.

In 2016 the Department for Transport launched the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, offering funding for local authorities to buy and install electric car charge points. But the take-up more than a year later has been extremely disappointing, meaning people up and down the country are being denied the opportunity to take advantage of the technology.

The two government ministers have written to councils urging them to take up the scheme which makes available up to 75% of the cost of procuring and installing chargepoints. Local authorities can fund the remaining costs through public and private sources.

Transport Minister, Jesse Norman said: “We are in the early stages of an electric revolution in the UK transport sector, and connectivity is at its heart.

“Millions of homes in the UK do not have off-street parking, so this funding is important to help local councils ensure that all their residents can take advantage of this revolution.”

Charge points can be anything from new points popping up on streets to adapting existing lampposts to make the best use of space. The money has been available since 2016 but so far only five councils have come forward, so there is £4.5m still available for them – enough for thousands of extra points.

 

Electric revolution

With a host of different support schemes for electric vehicles announced in the Autumn Statement, including a Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure, and more money to help people buy electric cars, the on-street scheme is an important part of the toolkit.

Around a third of homes in England do not have off-street parking, making it extremely difficult to charge an electric vehicle overnight. As a result, on-street charge points like those being offered through this scheme have the potential to entice drivers to switch to electric.

Now government ministers Jesse Norman and Claire Perry are writing to council leaders to remind them about the scheme and highlight the opportunities that making electric vehicles accessible to their residents can bring.

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