Electric vehicle charge point operator Liberty Charge has warned that the government is falling short in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure funding and has called for the private sector to step in.
According to Liberty Charge, the government’s £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund is falling short of the required costs. With the government committing almost £1.5 billion of funding to establish rapid and transit charge points across the UK, the firm believes that this is only half of what it could cost to install the 300,000 public charge points that are needed to ‘electrify the UK’. This could see the UK falling short of its net zero goals.
CEO of Liberty Charge, Neil Isaacson, said:
“Local authorities urgently need more resources and funding to boost electric vehicle infrastructure, if the UK is to meet the deadline it has set itself of ending sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.”
“I understand they’re under-resourced, but the Government will need to go further and faster if it’s really serious about hitting its net-zero target. Without the right size and scale of public charging infrastructure that gives confidence to households that don’t have off-street parking, they just won’t turn to electric vehicles.”
One of the main issues that Liberty Charge is calling on the government to sort is the lack of infrastructure in rural and hard to reach areas. This is where the charge point operator is recommending that the government redistribute the £350 million of funds in the LEVI funds to these harder to access or more deprived areas. Liberty Charge are of the belief that firms in the private sector are able to fund installation and maintenance of charge points across the other parts of the UK so they should take up the role, ensuring that the government can focus on the areas where the commercial case is not as viable. This would make sure that no region gets left behind.
Liberty Charge will be releasing the results of research that they have commissioned, in a white paper in the coming weeks. This research looks into how under-resourced local authorities are when it comes to EV infrastructure resources, and how many people they have working on the planning, commissioning, and implementation of EV infrastructure rollout.
Another issue being taken up by Liberty Charge is the fight to sort out VAT on public charging. On street charging currently has VAT set to 20%, which is four times the amount being paid by those with off-street charging points. This means that additional costs are being placed on the implementation of electric vehicles which is likely to make many people, especially the most disadvantaged, less likely to make the switch to electric.