The UK government unveiled a groundbreaking £70 million pilot scheme aimed at powering up motorway service areas to facilitate the deployment of ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints.
The initiative was announced by Transport Secretary Mark Harper during the COP28 Transport Day in Dubai.
Harper stated, “This £70 million pilot scheme is the starting point and sends a message to consumers and industry that we are investing wisely and rapidly to grow the future of transport in the UK.“
The pilot scheme plans to establish up to 10 trial sites across England, focusing on enhancing electrical network capacity to ensure it remains future-proofed until 2035.
This rapid chargepoint initiative, part of the government’s ambitious rapid charging fund (RCF), aims to offset a portion of the costs associated with upgrading the electricity grid at motorway service areas.
The objective is to empower the private sector to expand the charging network, instilling greater confidence in consumers to adopt EVs.
Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne emphasized the importance of the scheme in supporting the private sector’s expansion of the charging network.
The pilot, managed by National Highways, will collect evidence to inform the design of a comprehensive fund.
Simultaneously, a 10-week rapid charging fund consultation has been launched to gather input from stakeholders on where chargers are needed most and how to design the RCF effectively.
Additionally, the world-first global zero emission vehicle (ZEV) transition roadmap was launched, outlining international efforts to decarbonize road travel.
The roadmap commits to an annual update at future COP events to ensure a global transition to cleaner travel.