Cash boost for electric car charging points

Cash boost for electric car charging points
20 Feb, 2013 3:02pm Chris Ebbs

The Government is set to spend £37m in an attempt to boost EV sales

The Government has announced that £37.5 million of funding is to be used towards improving the electric car infrastructure in a bid to improve sales of plug-in models like the Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Ampera.

This latest investment will be used to pay for the installation of charging points at the homes of interested EV owners, as well as for on street charging points and plug-in points at train stations.

The Government will subsidise 75 per cent of the cost of these charging points, with the public, council or train operators paying the difference.

This isn’t new funding from the Government, however; instead it will be taken from the £400 million already set aside for the £5,000 EV grant.

Up to £13.5m of the £37m will make up the funds to the public who want a domestic charge point. This is almost as much as the £17m that’s been spent subsidising the purchase of electric cars – as there has only been 3,400 applications for the £5,000 grant since it was introduced in April 2011.

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said: “This investment underlines the government’s commitment to making sure that the UK is a world leader in the electric car industry.”

It typically costs around £1,000 to have a domestic charge point installed – meaning the Government would pay £750 with the owner picking up the remaining £250. On-street charge points cost around £10,000 – with the fund paying £7,5000 and the council or local EV owners covering the rest of the bill.

Andreas Atkins, Head of Electric Vehicle Services at British Gas said: “Having a viable public charging network is really important to the continued growth of EVs and the Government’s commitment to Plugged-in-Places is great news.”

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POD Point are currently offering free home charging units, under the Plugged in Places scheme, to residents within the East of England. For the rest of the UK pre-orders are being taken for units which are 75% funded by the Government grant starting in April.

The government is obviously determined to stop the £400 million in its EV pocket burning a hole. Only 3,400 of us have shown any interest in EV's in 2 years which will take £6.8 milion or 1.7% of this money. Instead of throwing (our) good money after bad, they should use it for something beneficial to us all, such as attacking the pot hole problem. Our roads would be considered a disgrace in a third world country.
It is ironic that as the government green fruitcakes anounce this mad attempt to stimulate EV growth, other greeen fruitcakes are rubbing their hands with glee because some coal fired power stations are coming off line early. Power cuts are going to be increasingly likely. If, as is highly unlikely EV's did take off, this would only aggravate supply problems. Remember, one charge of a Nissan Leaf takes about as much electriicity as an average household does in 2 or 3 days.

I would prefer to see pot holes filled or fuel duty cut before adding more charging points for the benefit of a small number of motorists.

Oh well, here we are again with the stories of "utopia tomorrow" the reality whenever we get there will be different, when I was at school we were told that future generations would have more leisure time blah, blah blah' it'll be ok until more/most people start driving them, then it will be priced like petrol or more cynically like diesel.