Government invests ?70m to double number of public rapid chargers

The number of electric car rapid chargepoints in the UK will more than double between now and 2024, but a government grant to help motorists buy vehicles to plug into them is likely to be cut before they all arrive.

The Government confirmed last week that it will invest a total of ?400million to help bolster the public charging network, with ?70million used to fund the installation of 3,000 rapid chargers over the next five years.

But while infrastructure will be improving, the incentives to purchase ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK could soon be terminated, with?the Secretary of State for Transport claiming in an interview that the ?3,500 subsidy for customers ‘will go eventually’.

Charger investment: Government will inject ?70m of funding into doubling the number of rapid chargers on the country's major road network between now and 2024 Ecotricity currently has a contractual agreement with most motorway service operators to provide charge points, though have faced a flood of complaints from drivers over reliability Electric vehicles owners have voiced their annoyance with Ecotricity's network of chargers. This user struggled to access charge points at John Lennon airport Other say there simply aren't enough chargers available to cater for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road - despite there being just over 200k on the road Not every user has had a negative experience with Ecotricity's network, though... The DfT says the new chargers will be able to replenish the batteries of electric vehicles in half the time it takes the current charge points In a recent interview with the Times, new transport secretary, Grant Shapps (pictured), admitted that he wants to end the plug-in car grant entirely, removing the subsidy of ?3,500 Mr Shapps has recently used the grant he wants to remove himself, receiving a full subsidy of ?3,500 to help him purchase one of the first Tesla Model 3s to arrive in the UK Mr Shapps has recently used the grant he wants to remove himself, receiving a full subsidy of ?3,500 to help him purchase one of the first Tesla Model 3s to arrive in the UK

Mr Shapps has recently used the grant he wants to remove himself, receiving a full subsidy of ?3,500 to help him purchase one of the first Tesla Model 3s to arrive in the UK

Mr Shapps comments have come just weeks after the transport boss himself benefited from the grant that government wants to eventually remove, receiving a full subsidy of??3,500 towards the purchase of a new ?44,090 Tesla.

Removing the grant altogether is likely to cause huge frustration for motorists and the industry, with recent declines in low-emission vehicle sales – especially plug-in hybrids cars – blamed on last year’s decision to slash the grant.?

The Government has committed to continue with the plug-in grant until 2020, but has provided few details of what will happen beyond this deadline.?

The Road to Zero document, published in October 2018, states: ‘As the market becomes better established and more competitive, the need for direct government financial support will decrease.

‘We therefore expect to deliver a managed exit from the grant in due course and to continue to support the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles through other measures.’?

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