The British Government is urging local authorities to take advantage of a £20 million cash injection to boost the number of on-street electric vehicle charge points across its towns and cities.

In a letter to councils, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that funding for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) will continue into 2021/22, increasing the confidence for residents without private parking that they will be able to charge their vehicle reliably.

Since its inception in 2017, more than 140 local authority projects have benefitted from the scheme, which has supported applications for nearly 4,000 charge points across the UK. “This funding boost could double that, adding nearly 4,000 additional charge points in our towns and cities,” said Shapps, adding, “We’re making it easier for more people to switch to electric vehicles, creating healthier neighbourhoods and cleaning up our air as we build back greener.”

Local councils play a key role in providing EV infrastructure and so in partnership with Energy Saving Trust, the Department for Transport is welcoming applications from councils which are yet to apply for funding, as well as those that have already benefitted. The scheme, which offers funding for 75% of the cost of installing public charging infrastructure, can be used to install charge-points on-street and in residential car parks.

Nick Harvey, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, added, “This funding will allow local authorities to install convenient and cost-effective electric vehicle charging infrastructure for those who rely on on-street parking. This helps to support the fair transition to the increased adoption of low carbon transport.

“We’re therefore encouraging local authorities to access this funding as part of their plans to decarbonise transport and improve local air quality.”