Government doubles funding for electric car infrastructure

£10 million to go towards more on-street charging points and a live database to show drivers where they can charge their cars up...

Hyundai Ioniq charging
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Claire Evans
21 Jan 2020 16:00

The Department for Transport (DfT) will double the money available to install EV chargers on residential streets from next year in a bid to encourage more urban drivers to go electric. 

The £10 million pledged by the Government will provide an additional 3600 charge points across the UK, making it easier for drivers without off-street parking to charge at home overnight. The new funding allowance follows the allocation of £2.5 million for EV chargers in residential areas in August 2019 and a previous £2.5 million pledge made in 2017. 

The DfT will also start working on creating a real-time public charger information service that would allow drivers to see the nearest charge points, if they are working and available for use, how much they cost and how quickly they will charge a car. The system could be integrated into sat nav and route mapping apps. 

Hyundai Ioniq charging

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that. By doubling funding again for charge points on streets where people live and opening up data we are helping drivers easily locate and use affordable, reliable charge points whether at home or on the road.”

According to Government figures, it has already supported the installation of more than 17,000 devices, providing over 24,000 publicly available charge points (of which more than 2,400 are rapid charge points), as part of its Road to Zero strategy.


The best electric cars and the ones to avoid

Electric cars are now entering the mainstream, and their rise is only going to accelerate as rules are introduced to limit the kinds of vehicles that are allowed into major cities.

The main thing that has traditionally held them back is range anxiety – the fear that you won’t have enough juice to get to where you’re going. However, with plenty of models now capable of covering more than 200 miles between charges, this is becoming less of an issue.

So, which electric cars should you consider? Here, we count down our favourites and tell you the ones to avoid. And, remember, if any of them take your fancy, check out our What Car? New Car Buying pages to see how much we could save you.


10. Tesla Model X

Save money on a new Tesla Model X with What Car? >>

Tesla Model X

On paper, Tesla's all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream all-rounder, combining the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren't short on pace, but parts of its interior do feel a little cheap given the price.

Seat Mii Electric 2019 LHD front cornering shot

If you're looking for a small electric car to primarily use in the city, the Mii Electric should definitely be on your shortlist. It might not have the range to match larger electric cars, but that means costs are kept sensible, and we reckon 161 miles on a full charge should still be enough for most buyers. 

Read our full Seat Mii Electric review >>


8. Mercedes EQC

Save money on a new Mercedes EQC with What Car? >>

Mercedes-Benz EQC front three quarters

The EQC is a brilliant choice if you want to maximise the peace and quiet offered by going electric: it really is incredibly hushed on the move. But while it's generally comfortable on motorways, it doesn't ride as well as the very best rivals and its range is someway off the Jaguar I-Pace's.

Read our full Mercedes EQC review >>


Next: more of our favourite electric cars >>

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