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Pilot Scheme Invests £20 Million into New Public EV Charge Points

electric van with charger

A new government pilot scheme is planning to share £20 million to nine local authorities with the aim of installing over 1,000 new public charge points.

Local authorities were asked to submit applications for the scheme, and the government would select nine of the candidate authorities to pioneer the programme.

The Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund is in place to assist local authorities to encourage a move to electric vehicles. LEVI’s aims include promoting ease of use and ease of charging for EVs and increasing consumer confidence.

As consumer uptake improves, this should encourage businesses to make their own investment in EVs and EV infrastructure.

LEVI specifically focuses on aiding and encouraging projects that can scale, and have commercial applications, for example, new charging technology or new business models that take will develop infrastructure.

Any charge points installed through this scheme are required to have a minimum payment method installed (such as contactless) for all charge points above 7.1kW in power.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said:

“The LEVI pilot funding is a welcome step that will give drivers in the winning areas greater confidence to make the switch to electric motoring, and will hopefully help inspire operators and local authorities across the UK to increase the roll out of chargepoints.

With manufacturers bringing ever-growing numbers of plug-in vehicles to UK roads, we can’t risk lacklustre infrastructure holding back Britain’s world-leading electric vehicle ambitions. We need a universal right to charge electric vehicles, for all drivers, wherever they live, wherever they travel, and whatever their needs.”

From a leasing point of view, we find that many customers are still reluctant to switch to electric vans at this time, citing both charging time and charger availability as two of the reasons to stay with ICE vans.

We hope the LEVI project make fast, public chargers more readily available and that the improved access and convenience will encourage more van users to make the switch to a plug-in vehicle.