The British Government has launched its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, designed to boost the UK’s network of public electric car chargers from 30,000 to 300,000 by 2030. The backdrop to the announcement is the UK’s ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030.

This will make the UK the first county in the world to do so, but its charging infrastructure is currently less well developed than some of its European neighbours.

Backed by £1.6 billion, the Department for Transport (DfT) says a core element of the plan is to make charging “easier and cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel car”. Key barriers to electric vehicle driving, DfT says, will be removed with new legal requirements on operators to provide real-time data on chargepoint availability and allowing drivers to pay by contactless, compare charging prices and find nearby chargepoints via apps. The plans also mandate a 99% reliability rate at rapid chargepoints.

The new strategy supports the government’s aim to provide a charging network that is “robust, fair and covers the entire country – as well as improving the consumer experience at all chargepoints, with significant support focused on those without access to off-street parking, and on fast charging for longer journeys.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well known and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda. That’s why we’re ensuring the country is EV-fit for future generations by the end of this decade, revolutionising our charging network and putting the consumer first.”

Coinciding with announcement bp pulse, the EV charging division of energy giant bp said it will invest £1 billion in electric vehicle charging in the UK over the next decade, which will see its number of sites in the UK approximately triple from around 9,000 to nearly 30,000.

Richard Bartlett, senior vice president, bp pulse said, “We’re investing to build a world-class network. This investment allows us to deliver more. More high-speed charging in dedicated hubs and on existing fuel and convenience sites. More home charging services. And crucial enhancements to our digital technology that will make charging fast, easy and reliable.”

The UK Government also revealed it is backing a project led by its Geospatial Commission to explore how geospatial location data can be better utilised to support local authorities plan and deliver electric vehicle charge points.