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Sunday, 25 February

Charge-up Points Plan Gets a Charge-up

Plans for more charging stations to encourage low emission vehicles and ultra low emission vehicles have had some substance added to them by the government with the declaration that chargepoints will be more widely available and convenient for motorists.

As part of an ongoing commitment to making transport greener and improving air quality, the Department for Transport is consulting on a series of measures that will make chargepoints more accessible, making it easier for drivers to recharge as demand for low emission vehicles increases. The measures are due to be included in the Modern Transport Bill.

The government has pledged more than £600 million over this parliament to further boost the ultra low emission vehicle market, after the number of new ultra low emission vehicles registered rose by 250% in just 2 years.

Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said: "We are committed to making transport cleaner and giving even more drivers the option of using a low emission vehicle as we strive to improve air quality across the country.

"Our ambition is for nearly all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040, and we are taking real steps to achieve this in the Modern Transport Bill. We now want to hear the views of businesses and the wider public."

The measures being proposed would give government powers to support the roll-out of charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and improve consumer access to the network by:

  • Making information about the location of public charging stations more accessible to the public, potentially via an online database and through mobile phone apps.

  • Ensuring drivers can access chargepoints without the need for multiple memberships from individual providers.

  • Giving powers to set common standards for all public chargepoints to ensure electric car owners can recharge anywhere, anytime.

  • Making consumer pricing information for electricity and hydrogen fuels consistent and transparent.

  • Supporting ‘smart’ electric vehicle charging that is flexible to grid demands.

  • Ensuring there is provision of electric chargepoints and hydrogen refuelling points at large fuel retailers and motorway service areas.

  • Encouraging the roll-out of hydrogen refuelling stations through franchising.

There are already more than 11,000 public chargepoints across the UK and the country has Europe’s largest network of rapid chargepoints. The government also offers a range of grants for home and workplace charging.

The Modern Transport Bill, first announced in the Queen’s Speech in May, will outline the role technology and innovation will play in delivering the safe, efficient and user focused transport systems of the future. The bill is due to be laid in Parliament next year.

The Department for Transport is also consulting separately on the proposed transposition of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive; Europe-wide legislation that will further promote the roll-out of charging facilities for vehicles that run on electricity, hydrogen and other clean fuels.

The Modern Transport Bill consultation on measures for low emission vehicle infrastructure will last 4 weeks, closing on 23 November.

Article written by Robin Snow

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