Electric car charging grants for colleges rise to £2,500

Ministers say colleges could generate revenue by allowing the public to use their charging points

Ministers say colleges could generate revenue by allowing the public to use their charging points

The government has increased a grant offered to schools and colleges to install electric car charging points to £2,500, and said settings could use them to generate revenue.

Under the scheme, state-funded schools, colleges and nurseries could previously apply for up to £350 towards the cost of installing charge points.

Today, technology minister Anthony Browne announced the government will now cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of buying and installing the points, up to £2,500 per socket.

Charge points could be used by staff and visitors, and the government said education institutions could also “generate revenue by making their chargepoints available to the public”.

The announcement is part of a wider scheme to create more charging infrastructure across England. Funding of £381 million is going to local authorities to install the technology in their areas.

‘Exciting opportunity’

Baroness Barran, the academies minister, said it was an “exciting opportunity to become part of an ongoing move towards a greener public sector”. 

Baroness Barran
Baroness Barran

“Schools [and other education settings] engaging with this grant will be supporting the development of green infrastructure, helping to improve their local environments.

“Developing a greener education estate is a key element of our sustainability and climate change strategy. The expansion of this grant supports our ambition to improve the sustainability of our schools in the ongoing move towards net zero.”

The government said its schools grant was for state-funded education institutions, including colleges, “which must have dedicated off-street parking facilities”. Applications can be made online.

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  1. FacePalm

    Another way of looking at this is that it represents the effective selling off of college estates by re-purposing a portion of land to be a local garage, by tapping into existing grants given to local authorities.

    Initial grants will no doubt tempt some finance departments, but lets hope they factor in ongoing maintenance, administration & insurance costs. They may well find themselves giving up land and not turning a profit.

    For the DfE, it’s win win win. They got slated by the public accounts committee for not having an environmental strategy. So if College’s give up land and Local Authorities give up their grant funding, the DfE doesn’t need to do anything other than offer encouragement.

    Ditto for recent suggestions about ground source heat pumps, but spicier with the suggestions they are to be installed by students!

  2. Jonny Walker

    There are some big infrastructure costs associated with installing charging points, so the £2,500 sounds good, but in reality, its a long way off being useful. We need a much more coherent approach to developing our charging infrastructure across the country if electric vehicles are going to be rolled out en-mass.