Only five of the UK’s hundreds of councils have taken part in a government electric car initiative – which makes one wonder what’s wrong with it.
The poor old Department of Transport has bemoaned the lack of interest shown in its On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which it insists has been lovingly crafted to tackle dirty air problems and reduce carbon emissions.
The scheme offers willing councils up to 75% of the costs of buying and installing electric car charging points – but a year since going live a paltry five have signed up, leaving £4.5 million in the funding pot.
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, with big manufacturers announcing plans to switch to greater production of the things, such as Ford today.
And in last year’s Autumn Statement, the government announced further funds for electric car infrastructure, including the Plug-in Car Grant, which gifts those looking to switch to electric power up to £4,500 to put towards the cost (though £4,500 off of a £70,000 Tesla Model S is unlikely to make much difference to most people).
By installing more charging points in residential areas (which can be brand new units or adaptions to lampposts) the government hopes that those who don’t have garages or driveways will find electric cars more attractive – like me, for instance, who would have to do all the charging out of a window.
Anyway, if you’ve any idea why your local authority hasn’t taken this up, please let us know. Or phone them up and ask them, which is something I should probably do.
Finally, if you’re from a council and are interested, here’s a government internet page about the scheme.