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2014-09-08

UK Govt launches EV Homecharge Scheme


1st September marks the launch of EV Homecharge Scheme, the next phase of the UK Govt's support for domestic charging points, which replaces the previous Domestic Chargepoint Grant launched in February 2013.


The new EV Homecharge Scheme will operate until March 2015

In June 2014, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced that the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) would continue to support the installation of home charging points with a fresh £9 million budget.
The new Scheme, EV Homecharge, is largely the same as the previous one, which aided thousands of installations nationwide, with two notable differences:
1) Under the new Scheme, grants are only available to individuals who own, lease or are nominated as the primary user of an eligible electric vehicle from 1 July 2014 onwards. Residents must provide evidence of ownership or be named as the primary driver of an electric car/plug-in hybrid to be considered for the grant.
2) The grant will be contribute a maximum of £900, as opposed to £1000 under the old scheme, and will cover up to 75% of the installation's costs, as before. The remainder (25%) must be paid for by the recipient, supplier or a third party.
The EV Homecharge Scheme will run from the 1st September 2014 through to the 31st March 2015 or until its £9 million budget has been exhausted.
In a statement issued earlier in the year, Baroness Kramer said: "Our [Domestic Chargepoint Grant] scheme has been tremendously popular and we are keen to continue the roll out of chargepoints to driveways and garages across the country. That is why we are launching a successor scheme to help make this important technology as commonplace in your home as a plug for your kettle. It will also help create British jobs in the sector, while also cutting driving costs and carbon and improving air quality."
The new Scheme is conveniently timed as electric vehicles grow in popularity and stature. In the UK especially, the EV market is seeing accelerated progress, with the total number of EV registrations now exceeding 13,000.
With manufacturers investing in electric vehicle technology and continuing to expand their EV ranges, the market continues to gain momentum in the UK as elsewhere. The new EV Homecharge Scheme will provide an even stronger platform for EVs and undoubtedly entice new buyers to this emerging market.
The new grants reiterate the government’s commitment to encouraging the uptake of ultra low-emission vehicles (ULEVs). In April 2014, they announced a £500 million pound initiative to support ULEVs until 2020. Furthermore, as part of this funding package, £32 million was set aside to increase the number of rapid public charging stations, which are set to be installed at every motorway station in the UK by the year’s end.
OLEV understands that the key to pushing EVs into the mainstream is providing the right combination of charging infrastructure, as well as making it available nationwide. While most charging contimues to take place at home, EV drivers will use rapid charge points to facilitate longer journeys. The government’s support means that both these forms of charging are attainable.
While 25% of the cost of installing a unit must still be paid for by the recipient or third party under the EV Homecharge Scheme, if previous experience is anything to go by, many chargepoint manufacturers will themselves covet the 25% cost and continue to offer installation free-of-charge