Major new electric car changes to impact drivers and motorways after COP28 announcement

Electric car charging

The new funding will go towards motorway service station chargers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 06/12/2023

- 12:39

Mark Harper said the Government was on the side of drivers

The Transport Secretary has unveiled a further £70million boost for more rapid electric car chargers while speaking at the COP28 climate conference.

Mark Harper has announced that a £70million pilot scheme will be launching today, December 6, to power up motorway service areas.

Speaking at the COP28 Transport Day in Dubai, Mark Harper announced 10 new trial sites in England with boosted electrical network capacity.

This will ensure that the electricity network capacity at the sites is future-proofed for at least 10 years until 2035.

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The Government stated that the UK has decarbonised faster than any other major economy, with further climate commitments also in operation.

Today’s announcement will be part of the Government’s ambitious rapid charging fund (RCF) which will cover a portion of the costs of upgrading the electricity grid.

The successfully chosen motorway service stations will have part of the costs sorted by the Government, with plans to further expand the charging network.

Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, praised the new announcements saying it would help motorists have the confidence to switch to electric vehicles.

He said: “This Government is on the side of drivers and working with the private sector to provide robust chargepoint infrastructure is part of our Plan for Drivers, with today’s announcement paving the way for more ultra-rapid chargepoints.

“This £70million pilot scheme is the starting point and sends a message to consumers and industry that we are investing wisely and rapidly to grow the future of transport in the UK.”

The Government has identified motorway service stations as a key part of the expansion to the electric vehicle charging network.

National Highways will work with the Government to gather evidence and inform on how the rapid charging fund should be designed.

Anthony Browne, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, said: “This is an important next step in our journey to net zero and demonstrates the government’s commitment to help the private sector expand our charging network.

“The scheme follows our world-leading zero emission vehicle mandate, meaning we are truly supporting drivers and industry in making the switch to electric.”

The Government has also launched a new consultation to seek views on how new electric car funding should be set out.

The rapid charging fund will enable a comprehensive ultra-rapid charging network with the Government calling on motorists to give their views on how the fund should be designed.

It hopes a number of key players including chargepoint operators and motorway service station owners will respond, informing the Government on the best areas to put the new chargers.

In 2022, Britain Thinks found that 81 per cent of EV drivers thought there were not enough rapid chargepoints at motorway service areas.


Electric car charging

The Government has also launched a consultation to go along with the new funding


Drivers have until February 13, 2024, at 11.59pm to give their views on the consultation.

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