Local councils awarded funding as part of EV infrastructure pilot

Nine local authorities have been awarded a share of £10 million funding through the Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme, which will support the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in England.

The £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure [LEVI] Fund, which was announced as part of the Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy earlier this year, will boost projects such as EV hubs and innovative on-street charging, so those without driveways don’t miss out on cleaner transport. The initial tranche of funding is expected to deliver over 1,000 public chargepoints across the areas.

The winners of the pilot fund are:

  • Barnet
  • Dorset
  • Durham
  • Kent
  • Midlands Connect (with Lincolnshire as a lead authority)
  • North Yorkshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Suffolk
  • Warrington

Through the innovative Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme, local authorities and industry will work together to create new, commercial EV charging infrastructure for residents, from faster on-street chargepoints to larger petrol station-style charging hubs.

The pilot is backed by £10 million of government funding shared among the nine winning local authorities in the first tranche of the planned £450m scheme, with winning pilot bids supported by an additional £9 million in private funding. A further £1.9 million will come from public funds across local authorities.

Decarbonisation Minister Trudy Harrison said: “We want to expand and grow our world-leading network of EV chargepoints, working closely with industry and local government, making it even easier for those without driveways to charge their electric vehicles and support the switch to cleaner travel. This scheme will help to level up electric vehicle infrastructure across the country, so that everyone can benefit from healthier neighbourhoods and cleaner air.”

Edmund King OBE, AA President, said: “It is essential that more on-street chargers are delivered to boost the transition to zero emission vehicles for those without home charging. This injection of an extra £20 million funding will help bring power to electric drivers across England from Durham to Dorset. This is one further positive step on the road to electrification.”

RAC Head of Roads Policy Nicholas Lyes said: “We know that there are many drivers who do not have driveways or any form of off-street parking, so investing in streetside charging is an absolute necessity. Drivers can also look forward to the prospect of local charging hubs which will give them somewhere to quickly charge their vehicles without needing to drive any considerable distance. The goal must be to spark electric vehicle uptake by creating an excellent charging infrastructure that caters for everyone’s needs.”

BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “Getting the EV charging infrastructure right is the difference between the UK meeting its net zero targets and falling short. It remains a massive barrier to fleet users making the switch as investment to date has prioritised private users and overlooked the varied requirements of those driving for business. Strategic investment that gets stakeholders representing all road users and vehicle types around the same table is the answer. The Local EV Infrastructure pilot scheme is a very positive development.

“These trials mark the perfect opportunity for forward-thinking regions to become beacons of how to meet fleet and private user needs together. They are creating the templates for the rest of the UK to follow. Armed with the BVRLA Fleet Charging Guide, which gives local authorities distinct, actionable recommendations for developing a charging network that works for all, we are ready to work in close collaboration with the winning regions.”

The scheme will allow local authorities to provide feedback on how to grow the network and the role the private sector can play.

The new LEVI fund builds on the success of the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) which has seen nearly 2,900 chargepoints installed so far with funding provided for approaching 10,000 additional chargepoints in the future.

Following growing demand from local authorities, the Department for Transport has also announced a further £10 million in funding which has been brought forward for this year, bringing this year’s ORCS funding to £30 million to help maintain ongoing installations.

The Energy Saving Trust, CENEX and PA Consulting have been appointed as the support body for the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund (LEVI), in partnership with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).

Spaces for local councils will be provided free of charge at the Transport + Energy Forum which is taking place on 17th November at the Birmingham Conference & Events Centre. More details about the event are available here

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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