COP28: UK unveils new £70m pilot to boost rollout of rapid EV chargers

New trials at motorway service areas in England are expected to help increase the number of ultra-rapid charging points

The UK has pledged to provide £70 million to boost the rollout of ultra-rapid charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) at the COP28 summit in Dubai.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper unveiled plans for up to 10 trial sites at motorway services in England with boosted electrical network capacity to increase the number of chargers and support the government’s EV transition vision.

The announcement, which is part of the government’s rapid charging fund (RCF), will cover a portion of the costs of upgrading the electricity grid at successful motorway service areas, which are strategically important as regularly spaced stopping points along the motorway.

The pilot project, being delivered by National Highways, will help gather evidence to inform the design of a full fund.

Mr Harper said: “This government is on the side of drivers and working with the private sector to provide robust chargepoint infrastructure is part of our Plan for Drivers, with today’s announcement paving the way for more ultra-rapid chargepoints.

“This £70 million pilot scheme is the starting point and sends a message to consumers and industry that we are investing wisely and rapidly to grow the future of transport in the UK.”

A 10-week rapid charging fund consultation has also been launched, seeking views from a range of stakeholders, including chargepoint operators, motorway service operators and electricity suppliers, on where chargers are needed most and how best to design the RCF.

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