Ofgem has started preparing motorway service areas, key trunk road locations, and confirming cabling supplies, as preparations begin for the installation of 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the current network.
A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities to ensure the infrastructure is available as drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric.
In order to make these infrastructure upgrades, Ofgem has confirmed a £300 million ($424 million) investment for over 200 low carbon projects. The investment will ensure Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure get the upgrade needed to support the new demand for electricity.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said: “The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.”
The investment will be delivered in the next two years and is part of a much bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs for low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies.
These shovel-ready, low carbon projects will begin this year and will benefit every region in Britain according to Ofgem, including England, Scotland and Wales. Investment also covers more rural areas with charging points for commuters at train stations in North and Mid Wales and the electrification of the Windermere ferry.
Furthermore, an extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this ‘range anxiety’, one of the key reasons Ofgem is accelerating investment to boost charge point installation.
Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister said: “With more than 500,000 electric cars now on UK roads, this will help to increase this number even further as drivers continue to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles.”
Keith Bell, Member of the Climate Change Committee, said: “This joint initiative by Ofgem and the electricity distribution network companies is a welcome development, showing flexibility in the regulatory arrangements in the long-term interests of energy users. On the journey to Net Zero, we need to make it as easy as possible for people to manage without their combustion engine cars. Electric vehicles are looking more and more attractive, but we need to make sure they can be charged easily, and that means having the right infrastructure – charge points and network capacity – in the right place at the right time.”