UK energy regulator, Ofgem, has agreed to invest £300m over two years to support the provision of low-carbon electric heating for homes and businesses as well as 3,550 charging points for electric vehicles.
With the announcement that the UK will cease sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, Ofgem has acknowledged that more infrastructure is needed to encourage public take-up of electric vehicles in preparation for this change.
According to the electric vehicle app and website, Zap-map, the UK currently has nearly 24,000 charging points in total. But this has not been enough to encourage large-scale public take-up of electric vehicles, with only 4.6% of new consumer vehicles being battery powered.
The regulator claimed, “As drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric, Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure need a massive upgrade to support this new demand for electricity.”
As part of their £300m investment, Ofgem will contribute towards the infrastructure needed to install 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points and 1,750 rapid charging points at motorway services. Part of these funds will also go towards increasing network capacity for charging points in cities and at train stations.
However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) claims more needs to be done for the public since the increasing demand for electric vehicles in the UK is mainly fuelled by businesses or fleets, not the average consumer.
Both Ofgem and the SMMT are intent on seeing more investment in electric charging infrastructure in residential areas moving forward, especially where families don’t have off-road parking. Without this, the number of charging points will undeniably fall short of the estimated 2.7 million the SMMT predict we will need when petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles are phased out in 2030.