Maria Bengtsson, EY’s EV Lead, comments on the government’s announcement to increase the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points:
“While it is encouraging to see the government increase its target of EV charging points to 300,000 by 2030, much of the additional funding contained in the announcement has, in some shape or form, already been announced. That said, however, the Local Electric Vehicles Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme is a new initiative that will support the rollout of EV charging infrastructure in communities, and local authorities and partnerships in England can apply for funding via the LEVI scheme.
“It’s been stated that the Energy Savings Trust will support local authorities to complete the application for LEVI. This is an important development as, to date, a lot of the funding that has been made to local authorities has not been fully utilised, as they can lack the resources and capabilities to submit complex applications and appropriately structure pilot projects.
“The announcement of LEVI is also a watershed moment for the successful roll-out of EV charging infrastructure, as it directly addresses an area that has so far has been largely unaddressed – charging in the local community.
“Aside from the funding element of the announcement, there are some important new pieces of regulation, which will improve drivers’ experiences:
- All charge point operators will be mandated to provide real-time data about charge points. This will enable consumers to compare prices and pay for their charging using contactless cards. They will also be able to use apps to find their nearest available charge point.
- The plans will also require a 99% reliability rate at rapid charge points to ensure they give consumers confidence in finding charge points that work, wherever they travel. This is a very important area as the government tries to address the mainstream drivers in order to accelerate EV adoption. Payments - having to use lots of different cards or apps - and unreliable chargers are constantly at the top of the list of customers’ complaints.
“Overall, it’s encouraging to see more focus on charging in the community, focussing on local authorities and on street charging. Local authorities are in need of support and advice, in addition to funding, and the recent announcement the government appears to be addressing that. The new guidance around reliability targets and the ability to pay for charging with contactless cards will make a big difference to consumers’ charging experience. This will help drive more mainstream adoption.
“So while this is a broadly positive announcement, more detail and guidance of how the plans will be executed is needed. There is a lot of new funding available but without a clear roadmap of how the new infrastructure will be rolled out, there is a risk that money could be wasted on areas that are less critical than others.”