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Workplace and home charging schemes get £50m boost

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will be expanded to include small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and the charity sector, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

It also says that the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which provides up to £350 towards a charge point, will continue next year and be expanded to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation.

The Government says the changes are worth up to an additional £50 million.

The changes to the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will mean that small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs can benefit from the funding, helping rural areas, says the DfT.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean says the announcement takes us one step closer to building and operating a public charge point network that is “affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers”.

“As the UK accelerates towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we are determined to deliver a world-leading electric vehicle charging network, as we build back greener and support economic growth across the country,” she said.

The announcement coincided with the DfT launching a consultation on improving the charging experience, simplifying payments and increasing reliability.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: “We urgently need more charging points to accelerate our transition to electric motoring, so this announcement is welcome and a step in the right direction.

“As we race towards the phase out of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, we need to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network.

“An electric vehicle revolution will need the home and workplace installations this announcement will encourage, but also a massive increase in on-street public charging and rapid charge points on our strategic road network. This will give drivers the confidence that recharging will become as easy as refuelling.”

The investment follows £20m in funding announced for councils to improve the on-street charging infrastructure in their local areas

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chair, Mike Cherry, said: “It’s great to see the Department for Transport putting businesses front and centre as part of the UK’s mission to achieve net-zero by 2050.

“Small businesses want to play a critical role in helping the UK reach its green targets, and electric vehicles are the future. That’s why this is important news for the nation, particularly rural areas which are often left behind.”

Daniel Brown, head of transport at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), believes that the EV Homecharge Scheme and Workplace Charging Scheme have helped make charging accessible and affordable to private drivers and businesses.

“We welcome the extension and expanded scope of these schemes,” he said. “The changes show that Government is closely listening to, and working with, industry in order to achieve our common goal of net zero.”

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