An expanded Workplace Charging Scheme
A look at the details of the Workplace Charging Scheme expansion and continuation of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently announced that the electric vehicle Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will be opened up to small to medium enterprises and the charity sector. The changes will also mean that small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs can benefit from the funding.
What's more, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which provides up to £350 towards a chargepoint, will continue next year and be expanded to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation.
£50 million will be spent on the expansion and continuation of the schemes.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "We urgently need more charging points to accelerate our transition to electric motoring, so this announcement is welcome and a step in the right direction. As we race towards the phase out of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, we need to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network. An electric vehicle revolution will need the home and workplace installations this announcement will encourage, but also a massive increase in on-street public charging and rapid charge points on our strategic road network. This will give drivers the confidence that recharging will become as easy as refuelling."
CEO of Co Charger, Joel Teague, said: "From a Co Charger point of view, this announcement is particularly welcome because it will put more chargepoints into homes and businesses where they can be shared with their neighbourhoods. Dependable, affordable charging while at home or work is essential for people to make the switch to electric motoring, and by sharing these newly funded chargepoints communities will be able to meet that need."
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair, Mike Cherry, said: "It’s great to see the Department for Transport putting businesses front and centre as part of the UK’s mission to achieve net-zero by 2050.
"Small businesses want to play a critical role in helping the UK reach its green targets, and electric vehicles are the future. That’s why this is important news for the nation, particularly rural areas which are often left behind."
An easy-to-use charging network
The DfT is also launching a consultation on improving the charging experience. The consultation suggests simplifying payment at chargepoints, meaning electric vehicle drivers can use contactless payment but do not have to download an app. It also seeks to make chargepoints more reliable and to force operators to provide a 24/7 call helpline for drivers.
The DfT is proposing that operators should make location data, power rating and price information more accessible for drivers so that drivers can find and access chargepoints easily. This is essential for ensuring costs are fair, for driving competition, and for increasing the confidence of both existing electric vehicle drivers and those considering making the switch.
The consultation also seeks evidence on accessibility for disabled consumers. A recent Zap-Map survey found that one-third of disabled people had difficulties locating a suitable charger that could meet their needs, with one in seven noting their very specific challenges with the weight of charging cables.
The consultation also seeks evidence on weatherproofing and lighting, as well as signage.
On street charging
Recently the Department for Transport announced £20 million in funding for councils to improve the on-street charging infrastructure in their local areas. This will allow residents without private parking to charge their vehicle.
This funding could double the amount already installed from the scheme, adding nearly 4,000 more charge points in its towns and cities.
Nick Harvey, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: "The confirmation of £20 million of funding for the ORCS in 2021/22 is great news. This funding will allow local authorities to install convenient and cost-effective electric vehicle charging infrastructure for those who rely on on-street parking. This helps to support the fair transition to the increased adoption of low carbon transport.
"We’re therefore encouraging local authorities to access this funding as part of their plans to decarbonise transport and improve local air quality."