A plan to remove barriers that prevent the development of an innovative and competitive smart charging market for electric vehicles has been welcomed by the freight transport industry.

The government, along with watchdog Ofgem, said EV consumers will benefit from lower energy bills and cheaper motoring with its strategy to seize on the potential of smart charging and make it the preferred method of long duration charging as soon as 2025.

Smart charging enables consumers to charge their vehicles when electricity is cheaper, allow them to power their homes using the electricity stored in their vehicle, or even sell it back to the grid for profit.

The government said high mileage drivers could expect to save up to £1,000 a year through the technology.

It said it would be providing £16m in funding for technologies that harness the potential of smart charging, including a smart street lamppost that enables vehicle owners to access charging on the move.

The energy and climate minister Graham Stuart said: “We want to make smart charging an easier choice for drivers of electric vehicles, whether that is charging on the driveway, at the workplace, or parked on the street.

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“To do that we need to build new network infrastructure at pace, using the latest available technologies.”

Logistics UK said that if freight businesses were to achieve net zero by 2030 then it was vital for an accessible smart charging infrastructure to power the nation’s fleets.

“The Electric Vehicle Charging Plan from BEIS provides welcome detail for operators, and our members are pleased to see the government and Ofgem working to remove barriers to innovative charging technology,” the trade association said.

“However, it is vital that the roll out of the public charging network is accelerated, and that it should be able to accommodate the needs of commercial vans, to ensure it is fit for purpose.

“Longer term, we are also urging the government to ensure larger electric HGVs can be accommodated by any new infrastructure, to keep vehicles moving and supplies being delivered.”

For more stories tracking the industry journey to decarbonisation see our new Freight Carbon Zero website.