Ofgem to pump £300 million into Britain’s electric vehicle charging network

Ofgem is to invest £300 million to help triple the amount of ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging points across the country.

Ofgem will use the money to build 3,550 new charging points, including 1,800 ultra-rapid charging sites at motorway service stations, tripling the size of the current network.

A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities. The magnitude of this investment is expected to be in the order of over £40 billion through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.

The investment will be delivered in the next two years and is part of a much bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies.

While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has found that 36% of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home. An extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this range anxiety, according to Ofgem.

Cities like Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will benefit from increased network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points, increased renewable electricity generation and the move to more electric heating for homes and businesses. Investment also covers more rural areas with charging points for commuters at train stations in North and Mid Wales and the electrification of the Windermere ferry.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.

“In the year that Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit, the energy networks are rising to the challenge and working with us and partners to accelerate projects that can start now, benefiting consumers, boosting the economy and creating jobs.”

Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister, added: “I warmly welcome today’s news from Ofgem, which will greatly improve the resilience of our charging network as we build back greener.

“With more than 500,000 electric cars now on UK roads, this will help to increase this number even further as drivers continue to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles.”