Government-funded electric vehicle chargers to be smart points

By Tom Wiltshire

All electric vehicle charging points receiving public installation funds must be smart chargers by next July, the government announced today.

The home chargepoints, which receive a government grant of up to £500 to cover up to 75 per cent of the installation cost, must be able to be remotely accessed and capable of receiving signals sent by energy suppliers. The grants also support the installation of chargers in businesses through the Workplace Charging Scheme.

The connected capability should ensure that home chargers respond to times of high demand for electricity on the National Grid, reducing demand at peak times and enabling consumers to automatically charge at off-peak times – saving them money.

The announcement was published alongside a commitment to maintain the grant at its current level – in contrast to the plug-in car grant, which was recently reduced for fully electric vehicles and ditched entirely for plug-in hybrid models.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: “The government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle, and through leadership and innovation it is paving the way to a zero-emission future.

“We have already supported the installation of over 100,000 home chargepoints. Now the measures announced today will give more people the opportunity to make the move to electric.”

Generic photo of an electric car charging point at Chester Services.

Automotive minister Richard Harrington echoed Norman’s statement, saying: “Today’s measures will make it easier for consumers to move towards electric vehicles, helping us power towards a cleaner, greener future.”

This latest announcement comes as part of the government’s Road to Zero strategy – a pledge that all new cars and vans will have zero-emission capability by 2040. The initiative aims to keep the UK as one of the world leaders of electric mobility – ‘putting the UK at the forefront of a global revolution in motoring to help to deliver cleaner air, a better environment and a strong clean economy’.