The Growing UK Electric Charging Network
The UK’s growing electric charging network is a huge incentive for more people and companies to buy ‘EV’ or electric vehicles. What’s more is that there are a number of private and government bodies that provide electric vehicle charging points across networks of highways and other roads so there has never been a better time to buy an electric vehicle.
The growing use of electric cars both for personal and fleet use can directly counteract the adverse effects of using petroleum-based automobile fuel, which results in the emission of harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global warming. Electric cars are an alternative to this.
The growing electric charging network in the UK was kick-started in 2009 when 230 million pounds was earmarked to provide incentives to buy EV by The Department of Transport. This scheme became operational in 2011, with each person buying an EV becoming eligible for a rebate of anywhere between £2000 and £5000. Apart from this, EVs are also exempt from taxes such as annual vehicle tax and purchase tax, making EVs tax free.
This E-revolution aims to have an extensive network of charging stations in London, amounting to 25,000 stations, by late 2015. The “Source London” project also installed 1300 electric charging stations for the public by 2013.
In 2010, London, Milton Keyes, and the North East region were selected to have an extensive network of electric charging stations in place. This will happen in phases, with the first year seeing the installation of 2500 charging points and the next three years resulting in more than 11,000 charging stations.
The Department of Transport also announced a “Plugged-In Places” scheme whereby grants are offered to increase the number of electric charging stations in the UK. This scheme plans to promote at least 85,000 charging stations soon.
A private charity called Zero Carbon World announced a donation of 1000 electric charging stations in 2012 alone. They aim to encourage businesses to install charging stations that are free to use in exchange for the customer buying a product or service from that business.
Owners of EVs now have a vast network of electric charging stations, both on the motorway network and on A roads and other roads. It is easy for EV owners to know where the next charging station is located, with the use of numerous maps and websites and apps that help locate it.
These charging stations are operated by different agencies, both government and private. Membership fees are either on a monthly or an annual basis. Members of a certain operator will have free access to all the charging points of that operator within a certain region, and also enjoy other benefits such as a certain amount of free parking hours a day. Some operators, especially in London, offer its members an exemption from the London Congestion Charge.
It has been estimated that 25% of the GHG emissions in the UK were directly due to passenger cars. It is hoped that by increasing the network of electric charging stations, people would be more motivated to buy electric cars.
With more people driving EVs both now and in the future, there is a hope that there will be cleaner air, less pollution, and less carbon emissions to look forward to.