Electric car charging station
Image Source: Håkan Dahlström
Chloe Shakesby

Ofgem reveals £300m investment in electric vehicle charging points to drive greener transport

The UK’s energy regulator has today announced that it is investing £300m in electric vehicle infrastructure across Britain.

Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets), is using the investment to ensure the country has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport.

This initial £300m will fund the installation of 1,800 charge points for electric vehicles at motorway service areas and a further 1,750 charging stations in towns and cities.

The investment will be delivered across the next two years and is part of a larger plan which will include work on the country’s heating systems.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40bn of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“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.

“In the year that Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit, the energy networks are rising to the challenge and working with us and partners to accelerate projects that can start now, benefiting consumers, boosting the economy and creating jobs.”

Rachel Maclean, transport minister, said: “I warmly welcome today’s news from Ofgem, which will greatly improve the resilience of our charging network as we build back greener.

“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.

“As well as enabling charging of electric vehicles and the electrification of heat, network investment will provide support for supply chains and, where projects require expansion of the workforce, the creation of new jobs.

“It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure.”

David Smith, chief executive at ENA which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said: “With just a few months left until COP26 we are delighted to have been able to bring forward such a crucial enabler of the Prime Minister’s green recovery ambitions.

“Delivering a green recovery for seas, skies and streets, over £300m of electricity distribution network investment will enable wide-ranging projects which help tackle some of our biggest Net Zero challenges, like electric vehicle range anxiety and the decarbonisation of heavier transport.

“This new funding shows the social, economic and environmental benefits that can be brought forward by industry working closely with a flexible regulator.”

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