Local authorities are being urged to take advantage of a £20m cash injection to boost the number of on-street electric vehicle chargepoints in towns and cities across the UK.

In a letter to councils across Britain, transport secretary Grant Shapps has this week announced that funding for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) will continue into 2021/22.

Since its inception in 2017, government sources say that more than 140 local authority projects have benefitted from the scheme, which has supported applications for nearly 4,000 chargepoints across the UK. Ministers say this funding boost could double that, adding nearly 4,000 more chargepoints in the UK’s towns and cities.

Local councils play an essential role in providing electric vehicle infrastructure and so, in partnership with Energy Saving Trust, the Department for Transport is welcoming applications from councils which are yet to apply for funding, as well as those that have already benefitted.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The prime minister’s ten-point plan set out that we will accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles, backed by a total of £2.8bn. Of this funding, £1.3bn is set to be invested in charging infrastructure over the next four years.”

Nick Harvey, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The confirmation of £20m of funding for the ORCS in 2021/22 is great news. This funding will allow local authorities to install convenient and cost-effective electric vehicle charging infrastructure for those who rely on on-street parking. This helps to support the fair transition to the increased adoption of low carbon transport. We’re therefore encouraging local authorities to access this funding as part of their plans to decarbonise transport and improve local air quality.”

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