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Ofgem approves £300m upgrade for electric vehicle charging expansion

Ofgem approves £300m upgrade for electric vehicle charging expansion


Energy regulator Ofgem has approved a £300 million upgrade to expand the UK’s electric car charging network.


The watchdog has said that the funding will be put towards more than 200 low-carbon projects across the UK to help the country prepare for an increase in electric vehicles. 

In addition, it said that it will partly support cables required to install ‘1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points,’ effectively tripling the current network. That’s in addition to 1,750 charging points installed in towns and cities across the UK. 

Ofgem will direct the upgrade using investment from the Energy Networks Association (ENA), which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks business. 

The investment will take place over the next two years. 

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “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.

“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.”

Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “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.”

David Smith, chief executive of Energy Networks Association (ENA), said: “With just a few months left until Cop26 we are delighted to have been able to bring forward such a crucial enabler of the Prime Minister’s green recovery ambitions.

“Delivering a green recovery for seas, skies and streets, over £300 million of electricity distribution network investment will enable wide-ranging projects which help tackle some of our biggest net-zero challenges, like electric vehicle range anxiety and the decarbonisation of heavier transport.

“This new funding shows the social, economic and environmental benefits that can be brought forward by industry working closely with a flexible regulator.”