Government sets out ambitions for rapid chargepoint network in England

The government is to support the installation of high-powered charging (HPC) at motorway sites across England through its Rapid Charging Fund, first announced in the 2020 Budget.

On 14 May, it explained the purpose of the programme is to ensure there is a rapid-charging network ready to meet long-term consumer demand for electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints ahead of need. The Rapid Charging Fund is available to fund a portion of costs at strategic sites across the road network, where upgrading connections to meet demand for HPC chargepoints is “prohibitively expensive and uncommercial”.

By 2023, it is aiming to have at least six high powered, open access chargepoints – 150-350kW capable – at motorway service areas in England. Some large sites may have as many as 10 to 12. By 2030, the government expects the network to be extensive and ready for a greater number of people to switch to EVs, with it planning for 2,500 HPC chargepoints across England’s motorways and major A roads. By 2035, it is expecting around 6,000 HPC chargepoints to be installed.

The government added that it expects any new chargepoints to be easy to use and hassle-free, meaning that drivers will be able to pay for the cost of charging their vehicle using debit or credit card payment; information about the chargepoints on motorways will be openly available; chargepoints will be available 99% of the time; drivers will be supported by 24/7 customer care to handle technical issues; sites will have chargepoints that support all types of EVs; and that there will be clear pricing information in pence/ kWh.

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