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Councils urged to do more in electric vehicle rollout

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The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has welcomed £200m government investment in electric charging stations for electric vehicles, but warned councils need to do more to facilitate the rollout.

LGC’s sister title New Civil Engineer  reports the announcement by the government to invest the sum came as part of an “ambitious mission” to put the UK at the “forefront” of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles, making all new cars and vans zero-emission by 2040 and all by 2050.

UK-based charging station development company The EV Network (EVN) will use the investment to develop 200 fast-charging stations throughout the UK. Together with battery storage specialist Leclanché, EVN is also to build an EV Charging Centre of Excellence in Warwick.

While the NIC welcomed the move, it said more needed to be done by councils to prepare for the rollout.

A National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said: “We welcome today’s announcement of £200m in smart charging stations, which will help encourage drivers to consider making the switch from petrol and diesel to electric cars.

“But for a truly national and visible charging network our national infrastructure assessment also makes clear the need for government investment in delivering charging points across the country, and for councils to allocate a portion of their parking spaces to be ready for charging points.”

This week energy giant SSE blamed London’s councils for the blocking the rollout of electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

SSE said it had only fitted 762 EV charging points out of 6,000 planned to be installed in London by now and blamed local authorities for the slow progress.

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