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Apps and real time data to be crucial to electric vehicle charging

Hand placing charger into electric vehicle
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Mobile apps and open real time data should play a key role in the development of a national infrastructure of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, according to the Government’s new strategy paper.

The points are within the new document, Taking charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, which is aimed at boosting the number of chargepoints for EVs and making them easier for people to use.

Its core commitment is to make 300,000 public chargers available in the UK by 2030 – almost five times the number of fuel pumps today – supported by an investment of £500 million.

This is accompanied by a plan to mandate, through legislation later this year, that operators should provide real time data on chargepoints to help consumers compare prices and easily pay using contactless cards, QR codes or online channels. They should also be able to use apps to find the nearest available chargepoint.

“We will work with industry to open up data so that drivers can access real time information about chargepoints across the public network, rely on the public chargepoint network with improved reliability, compare prices, and pay for their charging easily, whoever the chargepoint provider,” the paper says.

“We will also be supporting fleet electrification by introducing payment roaming across the public chargepoint network.”

Local charging

Other measures include a consultation that could lead to local authorities being obliged to implement local charging strategies for the transition to zero emission vehicles.

This is accompanied by an initiative led by the Geospatial Commission to work with councils on investigating the use of location data in building the infrastructure for chargepoints.

Local authorities will also be invited to bid for shares of a £10 million pot to work with industry on increasing the number of public chargepoints.

There are also plans to accelerate the roll out of high powered chargers, remove barriers to the private sector in installing chargepoints, develop design standards to improve accessibility of the signage to their locations, work with energy regulator Ofgem on integrating chargepoints with the energy system, and support innovation in business models and technology.

Decarbonisation priority

Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said: “The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well known and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda.

“That’s why we’re ensuring the country is EV-fit for future generations by the end of this decade, revolutionising our charging network and putting the consumer first.”

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