The government has established a 400 million pound (450 million euro) fund to help finance an expansion of the charging network.
Currently the UK has 16,657 public charging points, according to the European Alternative Fuels Observatory, or about one for every nine plug-in cars on the road. By contrast the much smaller Netherlands has 34,832 charging locations. In the first half, 21,922 plug-in hybrids were sold in the UK, up 40 percent on the year before, compared with 7,441 full-electric cars, according to figures from the SMMT industry association.
Sales of full-electric cars were down 3.3 percent during the period, but that is partly explained by the slower rollout of the new Nissan Leaf, which is built in Sunderland, England.
Buyers of plug-in vehicles can get government grants of up to 4,500 pounds off the purchase price of a new Category 1 vehicle, which must have a range of at least 70 miles (113 km) on battery power alone and emit less than 50g/km of CO2. Plug-in hybrids with a battery-only range of 10 miles or more and CO2 outputs of 75g/km or below qualify for a grant of up to 2,500 pounds, but the subsidy is not available to vehicles that cost more than 60,000 pounds. Further tax advantages are available to company car drivers.
France makes EVs a priority
President Emmanuel Macron has made developing France’s electric-vehicle infrastructure an economic priority, with the goal of increasing sales fivefold by 2020. At the same time, Paris plans to phase out internal-combustion vehicles in the city by 2030 to help cut air pollution.
France has a range of incentives for EVs, and the government plans to keep them in place at least until 2022. Purchase subsidies are 6,000 euros for electric and hybrid vehicles emitting 20 g/km or less of CO2 and 1,000 euros for vehicles emitting 21-60 g/km. A diesel scrappage plan provides an extra 4,000 euros on trade-ins of diesels at least 11 years old for an electric vehicle and 2,500 euros for a plug-in hybrid.
In addition, no company car tax will be imposed on electric vehicles, and hybrids emitting 110 g/km of CO2 or less are exempt for the first two years after registration. Depending on the province, annual registration fees may be waived for electric or plug-in vehicles.The number of public charging stations in France stood at 16,426 at the end of 2017, up from 10,339 in 2015. The government has set a target of 100,000 by 2020, or one for every 10 electric or plug-in vehicles in circulation. The government says it will provide a "legal and financial framework" to encourage development of the network, including the right to designate parking and charging areas for EVs.