“NFDA has submitted its response to the Government consultation on the design of the rapid charging fund (RCF)” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK.

NFDA has submitted its consultation response regarding the design of the rapid charging fund to the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). The Government launched the consultation on 6 December 2023 alongside an announcement by the Transport Secretary, Mark Harper MP, at COP28 of a £70 million pilot scheme to increase the number of rapid electric vehicle charging points across motorway service stations. This includes plans for up to 10 trial sites in England.

The £1 billion RCF was announced by the Government in March 2020, by then Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to help expand charging facilities at motorway service stations. However, until the announcement by the Transport Secretary of the £70 million pilot scheme in December 2023, the RCF had not been utilised. In January, the RAC also announced that the Government had missed a deadline it set in 2020 regarding the RCF, to have at least six rapid or ultra-rapid chargers at every motorway service station in England by the end of 2023.

Sue Robinson added: “It is imperative that NFDA maintains pressure on this issue with the Government, particularly as the RCF has mostly been unused since its announcement almost four years ago. This consultation also comes amidst the news that the Government had missed a deadline it set in 2020 to have at least six rapid or ultra-rapid chargers at every motorway service station in England by the end of 2023.

“In the consultation response NFDA has outlined how the RCF can be utilised to create a comprehensive network of electric charging points which will in turn accelerate consumer confidence during the transition to electric.

“In NFDA’s 2024 outlook survey, one of the most prevalent reasons given by dealerships as to why customers are not considering purchasing an EV included anxiety around lack of chargers which scored at 82%.”