Ofgem has committed to a £300m investment for more than 200 low carbon projects in a bid to get Britain ready for more electric transport and heat.
The investment will be used to support motorway service areas and key trunk road locations across the country to get the cabling needed to install 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the current network.
A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities, to support drivers making the switch from petrol to electric.
The investment will be delivered over the next two years and is part of a wider plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies. The investment is expected to be in the order of more than £40bn through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.
Every region in Britain will benefit from the announcement, with 204 net zero projects worth £300.5m across England, Scotland, and Wales. The projects are scheduled to start this year.
Electric vehicle ownership is on the rise across the UK, but Ofgem research indicated that the lack of charging points near homes was a factor stopping some consumers making the change. The investment will create a motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations, to help address the ‘range anxiety’ issue amongst consumers.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said:
"This £300m down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40bn 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."