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Tackling 'range anxiety'

Motorway service stations get more EV charge points

Electric charging

Motorists want more charging points

Motorway service areas and key trunk road locations across the country will get the cabling they need to install 1,800 ultra-rapid electric charge points, tripling the current network.

A further 1,750 will be supported in towns and cities to tackle the problem of ‘range anxiety’ as drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric.

The installations are part of an initial £300 million investment announced by energy regulator Ofgem and a much bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies.

The total investment is expected to be more than £40 billion through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.

Every region in Britain will benefit from today’s announcement, with 204 net zero projects worth £300.5 million across England, Scotland and Wales. These shovel-ready, low carbon projects start this year, supporting clean transport and heat, and opening up local electricity grids to take on more low carbon generation.

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While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has 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.

An extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this ‘range anxiety’, so Ofgem is accelerating investment to boost charge point installation.

Locations such as Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will benefit from increased network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points, increased renewable electricity generation and the move to more electric heating for homes and businesses.

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 £40 billion 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.”

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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