REA welcomes EV Infrastructure Strategy

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has welcomed the publication of the Government’s EV Infrastructure Strategy today.

Key points

  • UK annual EV charging network growth is on course to meet Government’s public chargepoint requirement by 2030;
  • Continued growth of the UK’s EV charging network dependent on fast-tracking EV chargepoint network development processes;
  • REA supports the announced mandate on roaming and interoperability, which is a longstanding policy position of REA and its EV Forum members.

According to the Government, 300,000 public chargepoints will be needed to enable the transition to EVs. The REA says the UK is on track to meet this number – based on annual network growth of 37% in 2021 – but current growth can only be maintained by removing barriers to EV charging network development. This includes fast-tracking processes involved with planning permissions, grid connections and local authority procurement.

The Strategy includes over £1.6 billion of public funding which will address market failures and contribute to rolling out hundreds of thousands of chargepoints nationwide before 2030, with a new pilot fund launched today. The £10m pilot, combined with a larger fund to follow, will assist local authorities to procure EV chargepoints for use by local residents and businesses. 

The funding announced by the Government compliments billions of pounds in private capital that is being invested in the development of the UK’s EV charging network. The REA therefore welcomes that public funding is being used to overcome specific barriers and market failures. This will unlock private investment and allow industry to deliver the quantity and quality of EV charging infrastructure required to meet the future needs of EV users. It is now vital that market conditions are set that allow both public and private funding to be mobilised without delay.

The Strategy also focuses on improving the consumer experience, to be achieved through new regulations. It aims to ensure drivers can compare prices, pay easily without using multiple apps and find nearby chargers. This includes a roaming mandate for operators – an outcome that the REA has called for since publishing a detailed position paper on the topic in 2019. Interoperability between EV charging networks will make public charging easier for consumers, giving them confidence to undertake long journeys in an EV.

Jacob Roberts, Transport Policy Manager at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said: “The REA strongly supports the Government’s commitment to delivering a world-leading EV charging infrastructure network that meets the needs of all EV users. By 2030, the Government expect around 300,000 public chargepoints will be needed to enable the transition to EVs – and we believe that this can be achieved, with this rapidly expanding industry having delivered 37% growth in chargepoint numbers in the last year alone.

“This growth can only be maintained, however, if investment can be mobilised at pace. We welcome the Government providing funding to overcome market failures and speed up local rollout of EV chargepoints, whilst allowing room for continued private investment to grow the UK’s public EV charging network. The Government’s next step should now be to remove the practical and administrative barriers which too often delay new chargepoint projects.

“The REA and its members are already committed to providing an excellent consumer experience, and therefore we welcome the consumer regulations also announced today. These regulations set the standards operators are expected to meet and will improve the overall charging experience. We are particularly pleased that the regulations include requirements for interoperability and roaming – something the REA has long argued for.”

About the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA):

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (known as the REA) is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, power and the Circular Economy. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation representing fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.

For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net

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