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UPDATE: Government announces launch of long-awaited workplace charging grant

Date: 14 October 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Government has announced a new £35m fund to further encourage the uptake of ultra low-emission vehicles, including the launch of a workplace charging grant.

A total of £10m from the new pot will be used to fund new charging points outside workplaces and on public roads where there is no off-street parking, putting an end to calls from many in the business community for the Government to launch a workplace charging grant.

According to the Government, £7.5m will be allocated to the workplace charging scheme, which will be launched in the autumn. It will be open to private and public sector workplaces deemed eligible, to support the installation of chargers for staff and fleet use. The other £2.5m is being made available to councils that commit to installing points on streets near homes without private off-street parking.

No further details on the workplace grant have been released at this stage, but the domestic plug-in chargepoint grant currently offers up to 75% (up to £500) off the cost of home points for electric vehicle owners.

Meanwhile, councils can apply for a share of a £20m allocation to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission taxis, with the Government providing funds to install charging stations for local taxi fleets.

Future zero-emission motorcycle and scooter owners, meanwhile, will receive discounts of 20% up to £1,500 under a new £3.75m scheme, with this funding coming from the central £35m pot.

Finally, the Government confirmed that 14 public and private sector fleets from around the country, including city councils, emergency services, car hire companies, and the Science Museum, will each receive a share of £2m for a total of 50 hydrogen-powered vehicles.

"No matter what mode of transport you need - a scooter to get to work, a car or a van to run your business - we are here to help you do it with zero emissions," said transport minister John Hayes. "The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are at record levels and new registrations have risen by 250% in just over two years.

"We are committing £35m to help install new chargepoints and offer new grants as we aim for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero-emission by 2050," he added.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low - the Government and industry-funded body responsible for promoting green motoring welcomed the additional funding: "This latest round of Government support towards the provision of infrastructure is another step in the right direction for mass adoption of electric vehicles."

"The perceived lack of accessible charge points, particularly at the workplace, has often been cited by businesses and their employees as a barrier to EV uptake - this new announcement will give confidence and financial support to those progressive fleets looking to go electric," she added.

"We are delighted that the government has listened to our call for support with workplace charging. Fleet buyers and company car drivers are leading the uptake of plug-in electric vehicles, with businesses responsible for 72% of electric vehicle registrations in the first half of this year, according to the SMMT," said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA. "The ability to charge at work is a massive incentive for many people that are looking to go ultra-low."