EV charging infrastructure and plug-in grant scheme given £1.9b investment

Published 26 November 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £1.9 billion package to support the UK's move to electric vehicles over the next decade as part of the Spending Review. The news follows the Government announcement that the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned after 2030.

Some £582m of the total fund will be used to extend the Plug-in Car Grant to 2022-2023. The grant was first launched in 2011 and currently gives car buyers a £3000 discounts against the purchase of a new electric car. 

The Government has also pledged £90m to fund local EV charging infrastructure to support the roll-out of more on-street charging schemes and rapid hubs across England.

A further £950m has been allocated to support the rollout of rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs at every service station on England’s motorways and major A-roads, so that motorists can top up their EV significantly in 30 minutes or less.

Only one-fifth (3530 of 19,487) of public EV charging devices available in the UK are rapid devices, according to a recent report from the Department for Transport. A Nissan Leaf, for example, can recharge 80 per cent of its battery in around an hour from a 50kW rapid charger, while a 7kw charger would take over seven hours. 

£275m will be used for charge point installation at homes, workplaces and on-street locations - while reforming these schemes so that they target difficult parts of the market, such as leaseholders and small/medium-sized enterprises.

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In February 2020, the Prime Minister announced a further 4000 zero emission buses. The Spending Review confirms £120m to deliver an additional 500 zero emission buses in 2021-2022.

Up until June 2020, local authorities in England could bid for funding to establish Britain’s first all-electric bus town or city. The scheme, called All Electric Bus Town, allows winning areas to receive up to £50m to help pay for a brand-new fleet of electric buses. It's expected to deliver around 300 zero emission buses.

In 2019, the Government consulted on proposals to require all newbuild residential properties with associated parking to have an EV charge point. The Government also consulted on requiring all new non-residential properties, with more than 10 parking spaces, to have at least one chargepoint and cable routes for a further one in five spaces. The Government will respond to the consultation soon, with regulations being laid in 2021.

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Robert MacLean    on 26 November 2020

The University of California has just published a report of its study into the effects of rapid charging and has found that rapid chargers can cause sever damage to ev batteries after only 25 cycles!

f1kwa    on 26 November 2020

How much money has been allocated for the purchase of land where all these cars are going to be parked-up waiting either to get to a charger or while they are being charged?
This has not been thought through, people don’t have time and will not patiently sit around waiting for a car to charge.
Yet again another important decision like telling us to buy diesel cars, taken by a government minister who knows nothing about the department he’s in charge of. Remember the idiot who gave a contract to the ferry company who didn’t have any ferry’s? Well here we go again.

Graham W5    on 26 November 2020

The test was on a batch of batteries rather than charging a car in normal use. But frequent use of Fast Charging will results in greater capacity loss. There was one example of a model 3 which as charged 64% of the time with a DC rapid charger and had lost 6% of capacity after only 37,000 miles: I presume this is using 120kw Tesla chargers rather than 50kw. I have a 6 year old range extended EV which does not do rapid charging, max charge rate is 3.5kw (16amp), I would say it has lost 2% or 3% capacity after 65,000 miles. Battery and charger technology may well improve but certainly currently best to only use Rapid charging when you really need to. Most people with EVs charge at home in which case it will not be rapid charging.

Graham W5    on 26 November 2020

You do not need great areas of land for lots of people to sit around waiting for their cars to charge. Most people with EVs charge at home but may also charge them at work. You get home park the car in your drive or garage, plug it in and in the morning you have a full charge or plug it in and go to work. It is different to a petrol car in that you only need to use a public charge point if you are going beyond the range of the car (which for many EVS is now over 200 miles: most people will not regularly drive over 200 miles in a day).

Not needing regular trips to a petrol station is a benefit of an EV.

Increasing hotels etc are putting them in, some principle, drive to the hotel charge it overnight.

It is not so simple if you do not have off road parking of course, about 36% of people in the UK do not have access to off road parking. However some Councils are installing charge points into lampposts for use by residents.

Roger Slocombe    on 26 November 2020

It will just be a case of changing behaviour. Plug in at home / at work / at supermarket / car park / hotel / restaurant. All these places will have capacity.

Chris Ottewell    on 26 November 2020

Sadly most restaurants wont have adequate charging facilities! You can't park outside most restaurants these days let alone park AND charge! Even the Tesla charging station near here often has cars waiting for a free point before they can even start charging. And visiting friends? If they have a charger - please can I charge my car so I can get home? Should you offer to pay or assume they will need charging when the visit you? A minefield!

david todd    on 27 November 2020

Will, there be possible POWER CUTS due to over demand at peak times possibly /DEFINITELY.

Graham W5    on 27 November 2020

Clearly an EV is more convenient if you have off street parking as you just get home, plug the car in and you have a full charge the next day. About 36% of homes in UK do not however have off street parking. A number of councils are now putting charging points into lampposts in areas where there is little or no off street parking for use by residents.

The price of EVS is currently an issue: typically an EV is £10k dearer than an equivalent petrol car and whilst you can typically expect to save £100 per month on running costs and whilst over the life of the car EVS are cheaper clearly it takes a number of years to recover the higher initial cost. Cost is reducing, it is expected price parity will be achieved within the next few years and before 2030. There is also limited used EVS available, as new sales increase this so used availability will follow.

With commercial charging points the grid is upgraded as required so it does cause the power cuts. With domestic installations, there may be exceptions but usually no upgrade to the power supply is needed: you can have a smart charger installed which will modulate the supply to the charging point depending on other usage in the house.

In terms of public charge points it is supply and demand. As the number of EVS is increasing the number of public charge points is increasing.

In term so power supply it is estimated to need 20 additional megawatts of power would be needed- that’s the equivalent output a reasonably sized offshore wind farm if all cars are electric (which will take many years to reach). This assumes pricing will be used to encourage off peak charging, grid supply requirement is not based on average demand but on peak demand: most people already charge over night at off peak demand.

Apart for Climate change it is estimated 28,000 to 36,000 deaths a year in the UK are due to air pollution of which road traffic is the main contributor www.gov.uk/governme.... There is a strong public heath reason to reduce petrol and diesel usage.

I drive a range extended EV (has a petrol engine but I average 350 mpg as over 85% on my driving is on electric: my next car will be pure EV but 3 years ago the only EV with the range I needed was a Tesla model S nice but expensive and too big to fit on my garage: there are now plenty of EVS with a range over 200miles with more to come). The final thing I will say is that people seem so keen to hang onto petrol as if they are being offered a poor substitute, but for most people once you have driven and EV you would not want to go back to a petrol car, they are quiet, you don't have to keep going to petrol stations (I do fill up about once every 3 months), the torque is instant and it is cheap to run (It costs me about £30 per month in electricity as against my previous car which did 40mpg about £130 per month in petrol).

gary bampkin    on 2 December 2020

This story should have been tied in with the state of our roads with potholes.Can you imagine what it going to be like in the future when most will have EV`s ?? These cars are so much heavier than there ICE counterparts,Whats left of any decent tarmac will be destroyed..Not to mention the digging up of roads to install chargers for those who do not have a drive !!!

John Margerison    on 2 December 2020

As I drive an EV, I asked Octopus (my energy supplier) to install a smart meter. In order to get an off peak supply in order to charge my EV overnight.
Octopus answer, not a chance. Who's got all these Smart Meters, we have been told to install|

Andyvtr    on 4 December 2020

Green hydrogen and the fuel cell is the way forwards, which successive governments should have backed 20 years ago. Now we have ended up with this 'half baked potato' of the ill considered EV & lack of charging infrastructure.

Edited by Andyvtr on 04/12/2020 at 17:51

Phil Sutton    on 24 December 2020

www.kerbhub.com offers an interesting solution to on-street charging while supporting 5G deployment at the same. I understand they will be deploying their first system within the kerb in early 2021.

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