Don't rely on public charge points

* Government sets out recharging infrastructure plans * Encouraging electric car owners to charge at home * Renault Fluence qualifies for electric car grant...

Don't rely on public charge points

Electric car buyers should be able to charge their vehicles at home or at work and not have to rely on a 'charge point at every corner' says the Government.

In its vision for an electric car infrastructure, the primary aim is to encourage that the majority of recharging of cars will take place at home and at night, when electricity is at its cheapest and demand at its lowest.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond said: 'The ability to recharge is a key part of the jigsaw in supporting the growth of the electric vehicle market. It is crucial that we make the process as simple as possible.

'Public charge points are part of the answer, but putting a charge point on every corner is not the right approach. It is most convenient for drivers and best for the energy system for the majority of charging to happen at home.

'Electric cars mean getting out of the mentality of needing to travel to a petrol station and into the habit of refuelling when a vehicle is not being used.'

The strategy includes:

• Ensuring that Britain's smart metering is implemented so that cars can be recharged when electricity is cheapest; providing information through a National Charge Point Registry so motorists know where to find a charging point; ensuring that all charge points can be used by all motorists; and challenging industry to resolve, by the end of this year, a range of technical issues that will allow the market to grow in the UK.

• Making it easier for businesses to provide recharging infrastructure by removing regulatory barriers eg making sure they no longer need planning permission; and allowing charge point owners and operators to sell electricity via charge points at the market rate.

• Proposing the inclusion of a policy on plug-in vehicle infrastructure in the National Planning Policy Framework, due for consultation next month. This would encourage local authorities to adopt policies to include plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure in new domestic, workplace and retail developments.

Business minister Mark Prisk said: 'I hope today's report will accelerate the growth of the ultra-low-carbon vehicle market by giving clarity about the Government's plans.'

The Government also confirmed that the Renault Fluence is eligible for its 5000 grant.