Britain to triple number of electric vehicle charging points to tackle ‘range anxiety’

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Britain is to more than triple its electric vehicle charging capacity with 1,800 new ultra-fast points to be installed at motorway service stations and a further 1,750 in cities.

UK regulator Ofgem said the electricity distribution companies will invest £300mln into the project as part of a £40bn investment plan for the country’s green energy system.

The new charging points are expected to be installed over the next two years said Ofgem and will help tackle a reluctance of people to buy an EV because of the uncertainty over getting it charged.

An extensive motorway charging network and more points in cities and train stations will help address this ‘range anxiety’, said the regulator.

Ofgem added its research found that 36% of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home.

Some 39 motorway service areas will benefit from the new investment while Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will get a boost to their network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points.

The £300mln 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.  

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: “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.”

Currently, the UK has 918 ultra-rapid charge points.

The UK government’s target is to have at least 6 high powered, open access charge points at motorway service areas in England.

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