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Government awards funding for vehicle charge points

Successful applicants under first phase of government’s £37 million support package for LEV charge points unveiled by DfT

Winning bids for the first round of funding under the government’s finance package for electric vehicle charge points have been announced by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Funding has been awarded to 76 local authorities, train station operators, NHS Trusts and academic organisations for charge points at hundreds of locations around the UK.

(l-r) Government ministers Norman Baker and Michael Fallon announce the recipients of funding for electric vehicle charging points

(l-r) Government ministers Norman Baker and Michael Fallon announce the recipients of funding for electric vehicle charging points

This forms part of DfT’s £37 million package announced in February to increase the number of publicly accessible charge points and encourage the uptake of plug-in vehicles (see AirQualityNews story).

Plug-in vehicles include a wide variety of different technologies, such as battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and extended-range electric vehicles (E-REV). They are seen as an important tool for improving air quality as they are powered by electricity rather than fuels such as diesel, which produce emissions that have been linked to cancer.

Announcing the successful bidders yesterday (July 31), Transport Secretary Norman Baker, said: “With hundreds of new chargepoints adding to the ever-expanding network of infrastructure, people will be able to recharge their cars at stations, in hospital car parks and on streets all over the country.

“This is brilliant news for those already using these vehicles and will give greater confidence to those who are considering making the switch to electric. With new models coming to market every month from major motor vehicle manufacturers and running costs of 2 to 3 pence a mile, these vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for many consumers and businesses.”

Second phase

Bids are also being invited for the second round of funding, with applications due by October 30. Under the scheme, the government will provide 75% of the cost of installation for new charge points.

Business minister Michael Fallon said: “The automotive industry in the UK is a real success story. Four out of every 5 vehicles made here are exported and the sector supports many thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.

“We need to keep working with industry to maintain this momentum and secure its long-term success which is why we are supporting the transition to ultra low emission vehicles. As we set out in our automotive industrial strategy, there are huge opportunities for us from being a world-leader in these technologies.”

The £37 million funding for the package comes from the government’s existing £400 million commitment to increase the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles and is available until April 2015.

A further £30 million has been used to aid the development of electric vehicle charge points through the Plugged in Places programme, which up to December 2012 had delivered more than 2,800 charge points, 70% of which are publicly accessible (see AirQualityNews.com story).

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