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Gloucester Services included in cash boost for electric cars

Gloucester service station on the M5 is included in a major new roll out of charging facilities for electric cars.

Energy regulator Ofgem today announced a £300m low-carbon investment scheme to drive forward the UK's push towards electric vehicles.

Motorway service areas, including Gloucester, and key trunk road locations across the country, are set to get cabling to install 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the current network.

Gloucester Services will get £1.6m of investment to install two new 11kV cable circuits and associated network infrastructure.

The project is expected to release 8MW of additional demand capacity, primarily for rapid EV charging at the service station but with some scope for further renewable generation and Low Carbon Technology (LCT) growth on the south side of Gloucester.

In all, a further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities across the country. Britain's cables and infrastructure need a massive upgrade to support the increased demand for electricity as the Government encourages drivers to switch from petrol and diesel to electric.

The investment will be delivered over two years and is part of a bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies.

The scale of this investment is expected to be in the order of over £40 billion through Ofgem's regulation of energy networks.

While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has found that 36% of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home.

An extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this 'range anxiety', so Ofgem is accelerating investment to boost charge point installation.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said: "This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain's energy networks in the next seven years.

"The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets.

"Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to.

"In the year that Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit, the energy networks are rising to the challenge and working with us and partners to accelerate projects that can start now, benefiting consumers, boosting the economy and creating jobs."

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