£70m for motorway charging

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Government funds pilot project to accelerate roll-out of ultra-rapid EV chargers


The government has announced a £70 million pilot scheme to encourage the installation of ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargers at motorway services. However, it is still set to miss its target of having six such devices at each site in England by the end of 2023.

The target for high-power-capable (150-350kW), open-access chargers was set out by the Department for Transport in May 2020.

Research published by the RAC in May, using data from charger mapping service Zap-Map, found that several English motorway service stations didn’t have high-powered chargers: Barton Park on the A1(M), Carlisle Southwaite Northbound on the M6, Leicester Forest (both sides) on the M1, Strensham Southbound on the M5 and Tebay (both sides) on the M6.

Carlisle Southwaite, Strensham and Tebay Northbound did at least have 50kW provision, but Barton Park and Leicester Forest East didn’t offer any EV chargers at all.

The funding announced at the COP28 climate conference will be used to prepare five to 10 service stations to host extra 100kW-
plus chargers. The government has yet to specify how the £70m will be allocated.

However, it recently highlighted the slow pace of grid connections as a key barrier to the ramp-up of charger installations.

In its 30-point plan for drivers, published in October, the government said it would “review the grid connection process for EV charge points, with [the] aim to accelerate it”.

This has been an important issue raised by charger operators.

Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, told Autocar in April: “Almost every issue of speed of implementation is down to the speed of grid connections. We can often be delayed by months or more waiting or a connection.”

The funding for the pilot scheme comes from the previously announced £950m Rapid Charging Fund, which is intended to iden

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