Boost for Bristol’s EV charging network as Metro Mayor drives ahead with ‘electric car revolution’

May 12, 2023

Hundreds more electric vehicle charging points are set to be installed across the West of England after £7m was secured by its combined authority to make plugging in as easy as filling up at the pumps.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) will get up to £6.6m to buy and instal the charging points and a further £560,000 to run them.

The provisional funding is dependent on suitable plans to be agreed with ministers and the three local authorities represented on WECA, including Bristol City and south Gloucestershire councils.

Some £5m has already been brought forward by the region’s Metro Mayor Norris, who leads WECA, as part of his £60m Green Recovery Plan.

This is paying towards the installation of more than 200 electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the region in the current financial year.

Mayor Norris, who has said he wants to spark an “electric car revolution” in the region, believes putting in more places where EV drivers can recharge is one of the main ways of making them more appealing, adding that it needs to be “as easy – if not easier – than filling up at the pump”. 

There are currently more than 580 publicly available charging points across the West of England – but forecasts suggest that more than 1,800 could be needed to reach WECA’s ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2030.

Mayor Norris, pictured inspecting an electric car at Bristol College, says the region needed to go “much further and much faster” to achieving this, which is why he wanted to ‘turbocharge’ the number of EV stations in the region.

“In order to have an electric vehicle revolution we need to turbocharge efforts to make charging your car as easy – if not easier – than filling up at the pump,” he said.

“That’s why this is such a big win for our region as WECA accelerates the rollout of easily available, reliable and straightforward-to-use charging points to make it easier than ever to own an electric car, wherever in the region you live.

“That’s also a vital step if we are going to reach our very ambitious net-zero targets.”

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK will be banned from 2030.

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