To mark World Electric Vehicle Day UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has launched an extension to the £50 million fund for small businesses to install charging points.
It comes as the UK also launched an app that will allow the nation’s drivers to explore why now is the time to go electric.
As the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate summit this November, the British government said it will continue to work with industry to provide the tools and practical advice drivers need to go electric.
A free app called EV8 Switch, backed by £2.7m of UK Space Agency funding, launches today, and calculates how much money UK drivers could save by switching to an EV compared to their current petrol or diesel vehicle, along with detail on the CO2 savings and air quality improvements they could achieve.
Drivers can also see which electric vehicles would be the most suitable for them based on their current vehicle and how switching to electric could fit in with their current lifestyle. Those with the app can also see how close their nearest chargepoints are, and which journeys can be completed without the need to top-up en-route.
“The zero-emission car market in the UK is accelerating quickly, with more models coming onto the market and one in seven cars sold this year having a plug,” said the Department of Transport in a statement.
The extension to the £50 million Government fund to install electric vehicle chargepoints will see small businesses such as B&Bs gain access to the Workplace Charging Scheme, supporting the UK tourism industry and improving access to rural areas. It will also see people in leasehold and rented accommodation enjoy the benefits of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, encouraging people to make the switch in areas where charging provision is currently more limited and potentially more challenging to secure.
Shapps said: “This World EV Day, I want to not only provide easy access to the tools that people need to feel confident about making the switch, but also to make sure that chargepoints are accessible, affordable and recognisable
“That’s why we have already committed £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure up and down the country, and as we look forward to COP26 and beyond, our vision is that the UK is at the forefront of the zero-emission transport future, creating thousands of green jobs in the process.”
With just months to go until COP26, the government is also announcing that Minnie Moll, Chief Executive of the Design Council and Duncan Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of Historic England will sit on the steering board to support our chargepoint design project, alongside architects Sowmya Parthasarathy, experienced masterplanner, and Professor Alan Penn, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. They will provide expertise to shape a design which could see our chargepoints become as recognisable as the red post box, London bus or black cab. The resulting design will be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “As we get ready to host the major UN climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow later this year, the UK is leading the way in using space to help us build back greener.
“With innovative government-backed projects such as this harnessing the power of space, making the switch to an electric vehicle will be easier than ever before, helping us take a giant leap towards our net-zero ambitions.”
“Accelerating the transition to electric vehicles – along with investing in clean energy and halting deforestation – are crucial to cutting emissions and keeping global warming to 1.5C. The UK is calling on all countries around the world to make bold commitments in these areas at COP26,” added Shapps.