£950m fund to bring rapid charging to service stations and boost ZE uptake

The Department for Transport (DfT) is about to open bids to the rapid charging fund (RCF), which will help motorway and major A road service-area operators prepare the network for 100% zero emissions vehicles.

The £950m fund is to future-proof electrical capacity at motorway and major A road service areas. Operators of the sites will be eligible to apply for the fund. Further details will be available shortly, adds DfT.

In November 2020, DfT published the Prime Minister’s Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, in which it committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

All new vehicles will be required to have significant zero emission capability from 2030 and be 100% zero emission from 2035.

The RCF was announced in March 2020 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of a £500m funding commitment to support the rollout of a high-powered network for electric vehicles (EVs) in England.

In May 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) published a Government vision for the rapid chargepoint network in England. In that vision, it committed to achieving the following targets:

  • by 2023, to have at least 6 high-powered, open-access chargepoints (150-350 kW capable) at motorway service areas in England
  • by 2030, we expect around 2,500 high-powered, open-access chargepoints across England’s motorways and major A roads
  • by 2035, we expect around 6,000 high-powered, open-access chargepoints across England’s motorways and major A roads

In the November 2020 Spending Review and the National Infrastructure Strategy, it announced that support for EV infrastructure would be increased to £1.3bn over the next 3 years.

This included an increase in the rapid charging fund to £950 million, alongside increases to the existing grant schemes for workplaces, homes and on-street charging, and a new £90 million fund for larger-scale local charging projects.

The National Infrastructure Strategy also clarified that the government expects the private sector to deliver chargepoints where they are commercially viable and that government will only intervene when there is a clear market failure.

For further information, email [email protected].

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