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UK Government Unveils Ambitious 'Plan for Drivers' to Accelerate EV Adoption

The grant, part of the Workplace Charging Scheme and funded by the Department for Transport, has been increased to EUR 2,500 per socket, up from the previous EUR 350.

February 06, 2024. By Abha Rustagi

The United Kingdom (UK) government has taken a significant step towards promoting sustainable transportation with the recent release of the 'Plan for Drivers.' This comprehensive measure aims to support and incentivize electric vehicle (EV) drivers, featuring grants for schools, cash for councils, and new proposals to boost chargepoint numbers across the country.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, spearheaded the launch of initiatives in Nottinghamshire, unveiling a new grant that will provide up to 75 percent of the cost to purchase and install chargepoints for greener schools. 

The grant, part of the Workplace Charging Scheme and funded by the Department for Transport, has been increased to EUR 2,500 per socket, up from the previous EUR 350. State-funded schools, colleges, nurseries, and academies are eligible, with the potential to generate revenue by making chargepoints available to the public.

The government is further supporting the EV infrastructure through the EUR 381 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund. Capital payments for charging projects have been approved for three local authorities from East Sussex to North Yorkshire and two London boroughs, totaling more than EUR 14.2 million. This funding aims to facilitate the installation of thousands of new chargers, ensuring widespread support for EV drivers.

To bolster local authorities in their EV endeavors, the government is launching the electric vehicle infrastructure (EVI) training course for officers. Additionally, nearly 100 dedicated EV officers have been recruited to support chargepoint procurement through the LEVI capability funding.

Minister Anthony Browne emphasized the government's commitment to facilitating easier and more convenient access to chargepoints for EV owners. "This government has already spent over £ 2 billion to ensure a smooth switch to EVs, and we’re committed to supporting drivers as we transition towards net zero in a proportionate way that doesn’t burden working people.
As more drivers make the switch to electric vehicles, the government is investing alongside industry players to expand EV infrastructure, aligning with climate change commitments. The recent introduction of new laws ensures transparency in public charging prices and the availability of contactless payment options," he said.

In a significant move, the government is launching a consultation to accelerate chargepoint installation across the country. Proposals include giving EV chargepoint operators the right to carry out street works using a permit instead of a license, which can significantly reduce approval times and costs.

Baroness Barran, Minister for the School System and Student Finance at the Department for Education, highlighted the exciting opportunity for schools to contribute to a greener public sector. The expanded grant aims to improve the sustainability of schools and align with the government's ambition to move towards net zero.

These measures are part of the second package of initiatives from the government's 'Plan for Drivers' and follow last month's crackdown on disruptive roadworks and efforts to enhance digital information for better sat-nav accuracy. The government has also published a list of common questions and answers on the transition to EVs to provide clarity for individuals and organizations.

The UK's commitment to achieving zero-emission vehicles by 2035 has already attracted substantial investments in gigafactories and EV manufacturing from companies such as Nissan, Tata, BMW, Ford, and Stellantis. Trade rule extensions with the EU are expected to save manufacturers and consumers up to EUR 4.3 billion, providing long-term certainty for the EV industry. Grants like the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) and Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) are available to local authorities and businesses, further supporting the transition to electric vehicles.
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