Rollout of electric vehicle charge points to be accelerated in schools

  • 8th February 2024

New measures will mean EV owners benefit from easier and more-convenient access to charge points

New measures to support electric vehicle drivers from the Government’s Plan for Drivers have launched this week, including grants for schools to boost chargepoint numbers.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, will launch support for greener schools in Nottinghamshire today, with a new grant providing up to 75% of the cost to buy and install charge points, up to £2,500 per socket, up from the previous £350.

Paid for by the Department for Transport, the grant forms part of the Workplace Charging Scheme and is available for state-funded schools, colleges, nurseries, and academies to boost charge point facilities for staff and visitors.

This could also help schools to generate revenue by making their charge points available to the public.

Funding boost

The school’s grant is for state-funded schools and education institutions, which must have dedicated off-street parking facilities.

Independent schools may apply for funding through the Workplace Charging Scheme and the electric vehicle infrastructure grant for SMEs.

The Government is also delivering the £381m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund to local authorities across the country.

The first capital payments for charging projects have been approved to three local authorities from East Sussex to North Yorkshire, and two London boroughs, bringing the total funding for these areas to more than £ 14.2m.

The cash will support the installation of thousands of new chargers, ensuring the rollout continues at pace to support drivers in every area of the country.

Procurement support

And, through the LEVI capability funding, almost 100 dedicated EV officers have been recruited to support charge point procurement.

The government is also launching the electric vehicle infrastructure (EVI) training course for officers, which will open to all local authorities from mid-March following a successful trial.

Browne said: “We’re getting on with delivering our Plan for Drivers, and this latest set of measures will mean EV owners everywhere benefit from easier and more-convenient access to charge points.

“This government has already spent over £2bn to ensure a smooth switch to EVs, and we’re committed to supporting drivers as we transition towards net zero in a proportionate way that doesn’t burden working people.”

More and more drivers are making the switch to electric vehicles, with fully-electric vehicles accounting for over 16% of the new UK car market in 2023, according to industry statistics.

Making the switch

The number of plug-in vehicles in the UK has also risen to over 1.2 million, of which 770,000 are fully battery-electric, meaning more and more drivers are making the switch.

And new laws recently came into force to provide EV drivers with easier and more-reliable public charging, mandating that prices across charge points are transparent, easy to compare, and that a large proportion of new public charge points have contactless payment options.

Minister for the School System and Student Finance at the Department for Education, Baroness Barran, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for schools across the UK to become part of an ongoing move towards a greener public sector.

“Schools engaging with this grant will be supporting the development of green infrastructure, helping to improve their local environments.”

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