The U.K. government will spend more than £9 million ($14.8 million) to boost the number of charging points for electric vehicles as it seeks to become a global leader in the segment.
The funding will be used to add hundreds of charging points across the region, including 140 new rapid-charge points that fully replenish an EV’s battery in less than half an hour.
Currently there are more than 6,000 public charge points across the U.K.
The funding is announced while the Department for Transport also is saying, , Renault, and Vauxhall are joining the government in backing a campaign called Go Ultra-Low to debunk common myths and misconceptions that dissuade drivers from switching to electric or hybrid cars, such as cost and how far the vehicles can travel before being recharged.
“There are already more charging points than filling stations in London, but to make driving an electric car possible for everyone, the £9 million funding will be used to create hundreds more charging points across the country,” it says.
“This will cement the U.K.’s position as one of the best for electric-vehicle-recharging networks in Europe.”
The money will come from £37 million ($60.9 million) budgeted for EV infrastructure and announced last July. The government also is committed to spend £5 million ($8.2 million) to introduce EVs across government and wider public-sector fleets this year.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says it is significant that government and some of the U.K.’s leading automotive brands are pooling resources to fund a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits and capabilities of the new technologies.
“The Go Ultra-Low campaign will help the public understand how these new cars work and how they could be a perfect fit for their personal, business or fleet needs,” Hawes says in a statement.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill says the campaign is about opening people’s eyes to the advantages of ultra-low-emissions vehicles.
“They are incredibly cheap to run, and we’re giving grants that knock thousands of pounds off the price tag at the point of sale,” Goodwill says. “This is great news for the consumer and for industry, with the U.K. well-positioned to take the lead on the development of these advanced technologies.”