Posted Tuesday 8th June 2021
The British gas and energy regulator, Ofgem, has approved a £300 million funding scheme as a significant step towards meeting the government’s ambitious climate change targets, including the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030.
The funds have been sourced from underspend from other projects as well as levies on consumer energy bills of 65 pence per household per month. These will be allocated across two hundred technology projects such as hydrogen heating trials and biofuel for heavy goods vehicles. The infrastructure for electric vehicles (“EVs”) such as taxis, aircraft and drones will also be improved. For instance, 3,550 public EV charge points will be installed across both urban and rural areas, together with related power cabling works and other upgrades to enable charging stations to cope with the increased energy demand.
Perhaps most notably, the investment aims to triple the amount of ultra-rapid EV charge points at motorway service stations and key trunk roads. These – unlike regular points where recharging takes several hours – fully replenish batteries in just 20-40 minutes. The significant time saving will allow EVs to bridge the gap with traditional petrol and diesel engine vehicles, which have until recently offered a significant advantage when it comes to refueling speed.
The improved charging network is set to boost the uptake of EVs by the general public, as an inadequate charging infrastructure is often cited as one of the main hurdles to a widespread adoption. The funding package – together with private initiatives such as the upcoming opening of Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub in Oxford and a new electric car park at London’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre – will certainly equip the UK for a greener future.
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