Expansion of charging points and contactless payments are planned, as the ministers aim to speed up the roll-out

Electric car drivers will be able to pay for charging points using contactless payment as part of the government’s plans to simplify the UK’s public charging market.

The plans are part of a new electric car strategy that will also see a tenfold increase in the number of public chargers, from around 30,000 today to 300,000 by the end of the decade, the government said.

Sales of electric cars are growing rapidly, where around 20 per cent of new cars sold in the UK are now electric. But there are fears Britain’s infrastructure is not keeping pace and drivers are complaining about chargers. often slow, expensive and difficult to access.

Earlier this week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said there is now one charger for every 32 plug-in cars on the road, up from 16 electric cars per year. charging a year ago.

The government’s plan is to streamline and expand the grid at the same time in the hope that consumers will continue to switch to electric cars in droves.

“We are working on plans to help the British become electric, with our expanding charging network making travel easier across the country,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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The UK EV charging industry is suffering from severe growing pains. EV drivers often report finding chargers out of order or having to download dozens of dedicated phone apps to access sockets.

To improve the customer experience, ministers plan to require charging station operators to allow all drivers to pay with contactless payment, compare the cost of charging between networks and easily find nearby charging points. Chargers should also make sure that chargers work 99 percent of the time.

Increasing the number of chargers for motorists without parking – about a third of all households – is also a priority.

A new £ 450m fund for local councils will include money to pay for the roll-out of street chargers and local ‘charging hubs’ for residents without driveways as well as dedicated ‘EV officers’ to oversee local charging supplies.

The strategy is expected to trigger further investment in the private sector in charging. BP Pulse, a charging station operator owned by BP, was the first to announce new investments and promised to spend £ 1bn. at new charging points.

But advocates said EV drivers without off-street parking will still be at a disadvantage due to the way electricity consumption is taxed. At present, VAT on private energy consumption is charged at five percent, while drivers who charge by a public charger pay a rate of 20 percent.

“It makes sense that with the price of fuel rising at the pump, we should encourage more people to buy electricity, and therefore we call for the 20 percent VAT currently levied on public chargers to be reduced to five percent. , ”Said Ginny Buckley, founder of Electrifying.com.

The government stressed that recharging an electric car is still cheaper than refueling a petrol or diesel vehicle, adding that electric cars also have lower maintenance costs.

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