Charging Points: Rural Areas

Department for Transport written question – answered on 2nd March 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to roll-out superfast charging infrastructure to rural areas.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We want people across the country to have the opportunity to make the move to electric vehicles (EVs). The vast majority of EV drivers choose to charge their cars at home, overnight, or increasingly at the workplace, but public charging is still important.

Higher powered charging technology (above 150 kW) has been developed in response to increasing sizes of car batteries, and although no EV models that can currently charge at that rate are commercially available in the UK, they are expected to be later this year. Some vehicle manufacturers, such as the Ionity group, are already investing in order to make these high powered chargers publicly available.

The UK already has more than 900 rapid chargepoints, one of the largest networks in Europe. The Government has put in place a range of grant schemes to support the installation of charging infrastructure - on-street, off-street and at workplaces that are available in any urban or rural areas UK-wide. In addition, under the Government’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme £22.9m has been allocated to support the installation of infrastructure currently being procured and installed in several UK cities and surrounding rural areas. One of these cities, York, is currently exploring the installation of high-powered charging.

At Autumn Budget 2017, the Chancellor announced a new £400m electric vehicle Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund. This funding could include supporting rapid chargers in both rural and urban areas, and more detail on how the Fund will be administered will be published in due course. The Government is also taking powers through the Automated and Electric Vehicle Bill to ensure the roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure at key locations like motorway service areas and large fuel stations, which again could involve both urban and more rural areas.

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