The government is unwilling so far to fund hardship loans for landlords or tenants caught up in the pandemic, but it’s got the cash to extend its electric car charge-point scheme to include rental properties, it has been announced.
Revealed this week, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme is to now include rented and leasehold accommodation and provide £350 towards a charge-point.
The grant provides a 75% contribution to the cost of one charge-point; the main requirement is that someone owns, leases, or has ordered a qualifying vehicle and has dedicated off-street parking at their property.
Landlords will be able to apply on behalf of their tenants or leaseholders, while tenants and leaseholders can also apply as long as they have permission. The change will help landlords coordinate installations with tenants, especially for multiple occupancy buildings.
At the same time, the Workplace Charging Scheme is being opened up to small accommodation businesses such as B&Bs, which will be able to benefit from new funding.
This aims to boost rural areas and tackle ‘range anxiety’ associated with long journeys, as part of the government’s overall £50 million investment in the green technology.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean (pictured) says: “Whether you’re on the school run or travelling to work, or don’t have access to a private parking space, today’s announcement will bring us one step closer to building and operating a public charge-point network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers.”
An ongoing consultation suggests simplifying payment at charge-points, meaning that electric vehicle drivers can use contactless payment but don’t have to download an app.
It also seeks to make charge-points more reliable and to force operators to provide a 24/7 call helpline for drivers.
She adds: “This is essential for ensuring costs are fair, for driving competition, and for increasing the confidence of both existing electric vehicle drivers and those considering making the switch.”