Government commits £80m to electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Charging infrastructure for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) will receive £80m of funding following yesterday’s Autumn Statement.

The funding for ULEV infrastructure is part of a £390m commitment by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to support ULEVs, renewable fuels and connected autonomous vehicles.

The development of alternative fuels for aviation and HGVs will receive £20m of the funding, while a £100m chunk was fenced off for vehicle platoon trials.

Hammond also announced that until March 2019, the government will offer companies looking to install charge points for electric vehicles 100% first-year allowances.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes welcomed the Autumn Statement’s commitment to charging infrastructure and said the market for ULEVs is “still developing”, so “it’s critical the government continues to encourage this through consistent policies and investment”.

“Furthermore,” he added, “the commitment to connected and autonomous vehicle testing infrastructure is an area in which the UK is already one of Europe’s leading centres.

“This commitment will help cement that position and promote this next generation technology, which has the potential to transform lives – preventing more than 25,000 accidents and creating more than 320,000 new jobs.”

Lack of capacity for charging electric vehicles was deemed one of the biggest barriers to the uptake of electric vehicles at the Freight in the City Expo earlier this month.

Co-ordinator of the Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project, Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer, told delegates that operators would take up electric vehicle technology, “but it needs to be at the right price, and it needs to be available”.