The UK Government has announced a £37m investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Twelve projects will receive a share of the funding, which aims to make it easier for electric car owners to charge their vehicles.
Innovations supported through the funding include solar-powered forecourts, underground charging systems and wireless charging technologies which would allow electric vehicles to charge without the need to plug in a cable.
Smart city consultancy Urban Foresight has been awarded over £3m to roll out ‘pop-up’ charging hubs, which are built into the pavement and provide a charging solution for electric vehicle drivers without access to off-street parking.
Meanwhile, public charging specialist Char.gy will use £2.3m of funding to deploy wireless charging technology on residential streets, removing the need for trailing cables and additional infrastructure. Trials of the induction charging technology are being conducted in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and the London borough of Redbridge.
Other projects to receive funding include:
- A renovation project, installing chargepoints in car parks to allow for mass charging at night
- A project leveraging existing Virgin Media physical and online infrastructure to deliver cost-effective and widespread charging, using high-speed internet connections to share information on charging progress and parking spaces
- A storage and advanced electronics project that will deliver semi-rapid charging using a low-power grid connection, minimising the need for costly substation upgrades
The UK currently has a network of more than 24,000 public charging connectors in nearly 9,000 locations, according to Department for Transport figures quoted by the BBC.
However, concerns about charging infrastructure still put many people off from switching to ultra-low emission vehicles.