£1.6bn plan to boost EV chargers in the UK

£1.6bn plan to boost EV chargers in the UK

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK government has unveiled a £1.6bn plan to increase the number of public electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints to 300,000 by 2030. This is a boost of 10x, and is equivalent to 5x the number of fuel pumps on roads today.

New legal requirements on operators will also mandate real time data, contactless payments, compare charging prices and find nearby chargepoints via apps. The plans will also require a 99% reliability rate at rapid chargepoints.

These are all issues highlighted by the technology developed by Petalite in the UK, which is looking to scale up production with a contract manufacturer to sell ‘charging as a service’ to local authorities and fleet operators. This means it supplies the hardware, software and charging payment technology and charges for the electricity used.

This is enabled by the higher reliability of the charging system, which is at a comparable cost to today’s chargers, says Leigh Purnell, founder and CEO of Petalite.

£500 million will be invested in public chargepoints to communities across the UK. This includes a £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which will boost projects such as EV hubs and innovative on-street charging.

A pilot scheme for the LEVI fund launching today will see local authorities bid for a share of £10 million in funding, allowing selected areas to work with industry and boost public charging opportunities.

The existing £950 million Rapid Charging Fund will support the rollout of at least 6,000 high powered super-fast chargepoints across England’s motorways by 2035.

Operators are already committed to installing an additional 15,000 rapid chargepoints across England’s road network, a 4x increase, and over 100,000 on-street chargepoints by 2025.

Shell has also teamed up with electric car maker BYD on a pan-European Mobility Service Provider (MSP) partnership, offering BYD users access to 275,000 charging points through Shell roaming network. Both BYD and Shell will also jointly develop Fleet Solutions and Depot Charging services for BYD customers in Europe.

Both companies will seek to provide integrated home energy solutions such as dynamic tariff scheduling, solar integration, home batteries, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging in different regions across the world. The two will also explore opportunities to build BYD-Shell EV hubs in key European markets.

Charging network provider bp pulse is also to spend £1 billion on developing charging infrastructure in the UK, supporting hundreds of new jobs.

“This £1 billion investment is vital to provide the charging infrastructure the UK needs.  We’re investing to build a world-class network,” said Richard Bartlett, Senior Vice President, at bp pulse. “This investment allows us to deliver more. More high-speed charging in dedicated hubs and on existing fuel and convenience sites. More home charging services. And crucial enhancements to our digital technology that will make charging fast, easy and reliable.”

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