Ofgem invests £300m to expand car charging network

Britain’s energy regulator will invest £300m in infrastructure to support the uptake of electric vehicles.

Ofgem’s funding will provide the cabling for 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points at motorway service areas and key trunk road locations, tripling the current network. Another 1,750 charge points will be supported in town and city locations, including train stations.

As drivers make the transition from petrol and diesel to electric, Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure need a massive upgrade to support this new demand for electricity, Ofgem said.

The expanded charging network will also make it easier for drivers to rely on electric vehicles.

While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has found that over a third (36%) of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home. It’s hoped that an expanded motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this ‘range anxiety’.

There are currently almost 24,000 chargers installed across the UK, according to Zap-Map.

“Today’s news will speed up Britain’s electric vehicle sector, which is already going at full pelt,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, COO and co-founder of Zap-Map. “Public charging points have increased by 300% within the past five years.

“This fresh injection of cash will support thousands of rapid chargers, and signals another turning point away from the petrol pump.”

Ofgem’s investment will be delivered over the next two years and is part of a bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies.

Good Energy forms partnership with BMW

UK licensed electricity supplier Good Energy announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a partnership agreement with automobile manufacturer BMW to provide  100% green electricity to the households of BMW customers throughout mainland Britain UK. This will enable the owners of BMW i3 and BMW i8 urban electric car models to charge their vehicles at home using renewably sourced electricity.

Good Energy stated that it sources all its electricity from certified renewables across Britain. It operates with strict purchasing policies and its main electricity tariff is certified by the independent Green Energy Supply Scheme. The partnership between the two companies will reportedly help BMW to fulfil its objective of providing truly low carbon driving, in line with its strategy for sustainable electric mobility and responsible charging to help to displace CO2 emissions from ‘power plants to tailpipe’.

According to Good energy, BMW will be the first electric vehicle manufacturer in the UK to offer a complete product portfolio that includes a specially developed and purpose-designed home charging unit with complementary green electricity products and services. Good Energy added that it will work closely with BMW to further develop custom-made green electricity tariffs for Electric Vehicles, while taking into account the UK’s supply and demand, as well as typical charging behaviours, .

The all-electric BMW i range of locally emission-free vehicles designed for city driving are sustainably designed throughout and are powered by BMW’s fully emission-free electric motors. The vehicles run on lithium-ion high-voltage batteries that have a range of up to 100 miles. Prices range from £30,680.00.

With more than 35,000 renewable electricity customers, Good Energy ensures that all the electricity it supplies is 100% matched with electricity sourced from renewable energy. The company added a gas product to its range in 2008 and now has over 12,000 gas customers.  In addition, Good Energy owns the UK’s first commercial wind farm, Delabole Wind Farm and aims to develop 110MW of capacity of new renewable electricity generation assets by 2016.