• Local authorities pressured to check charge points for commercial vehicles

  • Local authorities across the UK are being urged to check that electric charge points in their relevant area are suitable for use with electric vans – this is in line with the Government recently announcing new funding for councils.

    Recent information from the Department for Transport announced that it was making plans to expand the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure pilot and was going to award funding to 16 new councils to buy and install more electric charge points for vans.

    The LEVI pilot scheme has been created for the purpose of delivering commercial electric vehicle charging infrastructure for residents in the area, ranging from faster charging points for street-level vehicles to bigger petrol-station-inspired charging hubs as needed.

    It’s estimated that a total of £22m of funding has been supplied by the government to try and get the scheme running. Furthermore, there is also a prediction that there is an additional £17m of investment from the private sector, as well as £2m of public funding from across local authorities.

    The transport minister, Jesse Norman, says that new funding will help to deliver up to 2,400 new charging points in the foreseeable future.

    Logistics UK, a trade body, has said that if funding is provided, provision for commercial vehicles is needed if the industry is going to transition to net zero carbon emissions in line with government plans. 

    Figures that were released in October 2022 by the Department for Transport showed that the total number of all EV charging points in the UK (that were for public use) had reached a total of 34,637. However, a report which was published in 2022 predicts that the UK will need 300,000 charge points or more by 2030.

    Denise Beedell, Senior Policy Manager at Logistics UK said:

    “The charging requirements of the commercial vehicle sector must be factored into any developments. 

    “Local authorities must ensure that any new public EV charge point installation and infrastructure provide adequate electric vehicle charging infrastructure with sufficient space for use by commercial vehicles.”

    She then went on to explain that an immediate increase in public charge points for battery electric vans will be needed. This will help to give what she calls “the confidence to invest” that the logistics sector will need to make changes regarding existing line-ups of vehicles and fleet composition.

    The Government has recently brought forward a further £7,000,000 in extra funding for the scheme to bring residential charge points to the public, meaning that the scheme has total funding of £37m for the year.

    Under the scheme, local authorities can apply to get help installing on-street residential charging devices in the form of financial support. The scheme would help to fund up to 60% of all capital costs.

    The general aim of the scheme is to ensure that those who do not have access to reliable off-street parking can freely access affordable charging systems.