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Electric car 'range anxiety' tackled with £300m plan for ultra-rapid motorway chargers
Date added 25/5/2021

 More than 3,500 new car chargers are set to be installed across the country as Britain's energy regulator seeks to end the range anxiety that puts people off switching to electric vehicles.

Ofgem announced a £300m investment in new electric infrastructure including 1,800 ultra-rapid chargers at motorway service stations and 1,750 slower chargers in towns and cities.

A survey released last week by the regulator found that "range anxiety", the worry that an electric car will run out of power while out of the reach of a charger, is one of the main reasons people are reluctant to switch.

More than one in three people said they didn't live within close enough reach of a charger, while another 59 per cent said the price of electric cars was too high.

Last week the green lobby group Transport & Environment said British drivers face a "postcode lottery" of charger availability, with some areas, such as the east and south west of England, charging "deserts".

There are currently just 944 ultra-rapid chargers in Britain, out of a total of more than 20,000.

These can charge cars in a matter of minutes, rather than the several hours that slower standard chargers take.

New petrol and diesel cars are set to be banned from sale from 2030 in the UK.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said: “This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets.

"Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to."

The RAC's spokesman for electric vehicles, Simon Williams, said: “This is excellent news and will enable charge point operators to massively boost the number of ultra-rapid charging stations.

"Widespread availability of faster charging facilities will help to give more drivers the confidence to go electric and will also be vitally needed as more people opt for EVs.

"It will also mean EV drivers travelling long distances will be able get to their destinations more quickly and with far less stress.

"We believe the closer the experience of public recharging becomes to the short time spent refilling at petrol stations, the better."

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