Transport Secretary encourages Brits to switch to electric vehicles


A new government-backed app will help drivers to see which electric vehicles best suit their lifestyle.

Drivers up and down the country can explore making the switch to an electric vehicle with a new government-backed app the Transport Secretary has set out this week. As the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate summit this November, government is working with industry to provide the tools and practical advice drivers need to go electric.

A free app called EV8 Switch – backed by £2.7 million of UK Space Agency funding – launches this week. It calculates how much money UK drivers could save by switching to an EV compared to their current petrol or diesel vehicle, along with details on the carbon dioxide (CO2) savings and air quality improvements they could achieve.

Drivers can also see which electric vehicles would be the most suitable for them based on their current vehicle and how switching to electric could fit in with their current lifestyle. Those with the app can also see how close their nearest chargepoints are, and which journeys can be completed without the need to top-up en-route.

The zero emission car market in the UK is accelerating quickly with more models coming onto the market and one in 7 cars sold this year having a plug.

The government is also helping drivers across the country with an extension to the £50 million government fund to install electric vehicle chargepoints.

The move will see small businesses such as B&Bs gain access to the Workplace Charging Scheme, supporting the UK tourism industry and improving access to rural areas. It will also see those in leasehold and rented accommodation enjoy the benefits of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, encouraging people to make the switch in areas where charging provision is currently more limited and potentially more challenging to secure. ​

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

I want to not only provide easy access to the tools that people need to feel confident about making the switch, but also to make sure that chargepoints are accessible, affordable and recognisable.

That’s why we have already committed £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of charging infrastructure up and down the country. And as we look forward to COP26 and beyond, our vision is that the UK is at the forefront of the zero emission transport future, creating thousands of green jobs in the process.

Together with, the Department for Transport has also produced a Beginners’ Guide to Going Electric (PDF, 2MB), to help drivers understand what’s involved in switching to an electric car. The guide provides practical advice and top tips as we accelerate towards a zero emission transport future.

With just months to go until COP26, the government is also announcing that Minnie Moll, Chief Executive of the Design Council, and Duncan Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of Historic England, will sit on the steering board to support our chargepoint design project, alongside architects Sowmya Parthasarathy, experienced masterplanner, and Professor Alan Penn, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. They will provide expertise to shape a design that could see our chargepoints become as recognisable as the red post box, London bus or black cab.

The resulting design will be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

As we get ready to host the major UN climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow later this year, the UK is leading the way in using space to help us build back greener.

With innovative government-backed projects such as this harnessing the power of space, making the switch to an electric vehicle will be easier than ever before, helping us take a giant leap towards our net zero ambitions.

Founder of Ginny Buckley said:

We know that switching to an electric car can be a daunting prospect with a host of new information to absorb and jargon to cut through. But it’s not as complicated as it may seem and our research shows that once you’ve gone electric you won’t want to go back to a petrol or diesel car.

We’re delighted to have teamed up with the government to help clear the air for drivers with a straightforward, unbiased and jargon-free guide for World EV Day.

Accelerating the transition to electric vehicles – along with investing in clean energy and halting deforestation – are crucial to cutting emissions and keeping global warming to 1.5°C. The UK is calling on all countries around the world to make bold commitments in these areas at COP26.

Click here for the for EV8 Switch free app:


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