Electric vehicle charging

New app launched as government encourages electric vehicle switch

Drivers up and down the country can explore making the switch to an electric vehicle this World EV Day with a new government-backed app, the Transport Secretary has set out today.

As the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate summit in November, the government is working with industry to provide the tools and practical advice drivers need to go electric.

A free app called EV8 Switch, backed by £2.7m of UK Space Agency funding, has launched today.

It calculates how much money UK drivers could save by switching to an EV compared to their current petrol or diesel vehicle, along with details on the carbon dioxide (CO2) savings and air quality improvements they could achieve.

Drivers can also see which electric vehicles would be the most suitable for them based on their current vehicle and how switching to electric could fit in with their current lifestyle.

Those with the app can also see how close their nearest charging points are, as well as which journeys can be completed without the need to top-up en-route.

The zero-emission car market in the UK is accelerating quickly, with more models coming onto the market, and figures show that one in seven cars sold this year have a plug.

Also, the government is also helping drivers across the country with an extension to the £50m government fund to install electric vehicle charge points.

The move will see small businesses, such as B&Bs, gain access to the Workplace Charging Scheme, supporting the UK tourism industry and improving access to rural areas.

It will also see those in leasehold and rented accommodation enjoy the benefits of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, encouraging people to make the switch in areas where charging provision is currently more limited and potentially more challenging to secure. ​

Commenting, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

“This World EV Day, I want to not only provide easy access to the tools that people need to feel confident about making the switch, but also to make sure that chargepoints are accessible, affordable and recognisable.

“That’s why we have already committed £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of charging infrastructure up and down the country.

“And as we look forward to COP26 and beyond, our vision is that the UK is at the forefront of the zero-emission transport future, creating thousands of green jobs in the process.”

Together with Electrifying.com, the Department for Transport has also produced a Beginners’ Guide to Going Electric (PDF, 2MB), to help drivers understand what is involved in switching to an electric car.

The guide provides practical advice and top tips as the UK accelerate towards a zero-emission transport future.

With less than two months to go until COP26, the government has announced that Chief Executive of the Design Council, Minnie Moll, and Chief Executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, will sit on the steering board to support the chargepoint design project.

They will be joined alongside architects, experienced masterplanner, Sowmya Parthasarathy and Chief Scientific Advisor at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Professor Alan Penn.

The government said they will provide expertise to shape a design that could see chargepoints become as recognisable as the red post box, London bus or black cab, with the resulting design being unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow.

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway added:

“As we get ready to host the major UN climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow later this year, the UK is leading the way in using space to help us build back greener.

“With innovative government-backed projects, such as this harnessing the power of space, making the switch to an electric vehicle will be easier than ever before, helping us take a giant leap towards our net zero ambitions.”

The government said that accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, along with investing in clean energy and halting deforestation, are crucial to cutting emissions and keeping global warming to 1.5°C.

The UK is calling on all countries around the world to make bold commitments in these areas at COP26.

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