Britain’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has unveiled an extra GBP2.5m (US$3m) for 1,000 new charge-points on residential streets.

The Department for Transport (DfT) maintains the new funding means people who do not have their own off-street parking will have better access to charging infrastructure near their homes

The funding will go towards helping local authorities install the charge-points, which can be built into existing structures such as lamp-posts.

The scheme aims to encourage more people to choose an electric vehicle by making it easier to charge their cars near home, following a 158% increase in battery electric vehicle sales compared to July last year.

The scheme has already seen 16 local authorities prepared to install 1,200 charge-points this year. The Transport Secretary is now doubling funding for the scheme to meet demand and accelerate take-up of electric vehicles as the UK moves towards net zero emissions by 2050 and improve air quality.

“It’s fantastic there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible charge-points and double the number of electric vehicle charge-points than petrol stations, but we want to do much more,” said Shapps.

“It’s vital electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of charge-points near their home and charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.

“That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need.”

The allocation of funding for on-street residential charge-points is part of the GBP1.5bn investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy. The strategy, maintains the DfT, consists of one of the most comprehensive packages of support for the transition to zero emission vehicles in the world.

As part of this, the government is also investing GBP37m into British engineering to develop electric charge-point infrastructure, which could rapidly expand the UK charge-point network for people without off-street parking.

Innovations to receive investment include underground charging systems, solar powered charging forecourts and wireless charging projects.

Much like current mobile phone technology, wireless charging could mean an end to the need to plug electric vehicles in.