Sat Navs to tell electric car drivers were nearest free charger is, under Government plan

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Sat Navs will be able to tell electric car users where the nearest available charging point is, under new plans announced by the Government.

The Department for Transport said it has begun work to make real-time charging point data available to app-makers and tech companies.

The scheme seeks to allow developers to incorporate the information into map apps and Sat Navs so drivers will be able to see at a glance all the chargers in their immediate vicinity, as well as which are in use at that moment.

Live data on chargers is currently held by the private operators who maintain them. Around 60 percent of these operators already share live data with specific charging location apps.

However, under the Government’s plan all the data would be available to be integrated into mainstream Sat Navs and maps.   

Future of Transport Minister George Freeman said:  “Comprehensive chargepoint data is crucial for mapping charging hotspots and notspots for consumers, to help to drive forward the electric vehicle revolution.”

The announcement comes as ministers also announced they are doubling to £10 million funding for local councils to install public chargers for electric vehicles on residential streets.

The Government said the extra funding would pay for up to 3,600 new charge points across the country.

Since the fund began in 2017, 58 local authorities have applied for funding and been awarded grants to install 2,000 charge points.

Last year, the Department for Transport released data revealing the electric car charging notspots in the UK that showed two boroughs – Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and the Isle of Scilly – did not have a single public place for drivers to plug-in.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that.

“By doubling funding again for charge points on streets where people live and opening up data we are helping drivers easily locate and use affordable, reliable charge points whether at home or on the road.”



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