Nine cities in the UK have failed to take advantage of a public fund for EV charging worth £250 million per year.
All have budgets controlled by directly elected ‘Metro Mayors’, but only four of the nine combined authorities have installed new charging points in the last 12 months, and only two have installed chargers for public use. Yet a capital investment fund totalling £250m each year is available as part of the UK’s electrification strategy.
The investment fund is worth £7.45 billion over a 30 year period, with each Metro Mayor sharing access to £250m per year. The combined authorities include Greater Manchester, Liverpool City region and the West of England.
Some in the EV sector feel that opportunities are being missed by local metropolitan authorities to boost the economic and transport infrastructure of their regions.
"Without a critical mass of publicly available EV charge points, the UK will remain shackled to petrol and diesel well beyond our collective 2030 goal”, said Jon Lawes, managing director of Novuna Vehicle Solutions.
“We need to pivot from planning mode and start putting shovels in the ground. The money is available, what’s required now is the political muscle to deliver critical infrastructure, especially for the 40% of households that can’t install a private charger,” said Lawes.
Novuna revealed in March of this year that the funding for Metro Mayors was not being spent, and has since submitted freedom of information requests to each of the nine authorities, asking for details of how many public and private charging points each had installed in 2021 from the capital investment fund.
Metro Mayors also have a further £6.8bn available through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, to fund transport decarbonisation initiatives.