Small businesses in the UK and those in leasehold and rented accommodation are set to benefit from up to £50m to install EV chargepoints.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which provides up to £350 towards a chargepoint, will continue next year and be expanded to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation.
At the same time, the Workplace Charging Schemes will be opened up to small to medium enterprises and the charity sector.
The changes will also mean that small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs, can benefit from the funding, boosting rural areas, and tackling so-called ‘range anxiety’ associated with long journeys.
The investment comes as the DfT launches a consultation on improving the charging experience, including simplifying payments and increasing reliability.
UK transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “Whether you’re on the school run or travelling to work, or don’t have access to a private parking space, today’s announcement will bring us one step closer to building and operating a public chargepoint network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers.
“As the UK accelerates towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we are determined to deliver a world-leading electric vehicle charging network, as we build back greener and support economic growth across the country.”
The consultation suggests simplifying payment at chargepoints, meaning EV drivers can use contactless payment but do not have to download an app. It also seeks to make chargepoints more reliable and to force operators to provide a 24/7 call helpline for drivers.
According to the government, drivers should also be able to find and access chargepoints easily. Thus, it is proposing that operators should make location data, power rating and price information more accessible for drivers.
This will ensure costs are fair, drives competition, and increases confidence of both existing EV drivers and those considering making the switch, said the DfT.
The investment follows £20m in funding announced earlier this month for councils to improve the on-street charging infrastructure in their local areas.