The UK Treasury has announced a £400m fund to aid the development of the country’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Of the total, the first £70m will be used for installing 3,000 EV charging points, bringing the amount of such points in the UK to 5,000.

Exchequer Secretary Simon Clarke said: “We are driving ahead with plans to make travel greener while backing British innovation and technology.

“I am delighted to announce this funding today that will more than double the number of rapid charge points for electric vehicles on our roads. Britain already boasts one of the biggest networks of charging infrastructure in Europe and soon we will have the fastest thanks to this investment.

“This is the latest in our proud record on climate change, having slashed emissions by over 40% since 1990 whilst simultaneously growing our economy and setting an ambitious target for net zero emissions by 2050.”

The rapid charging points can recharge a family car within 20 minutes, reducing the current time of 40 minutes by 50%.

The move is part of the UK Government’s objective to eliminate the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

The government has previously invested £1.5bn to scale up the adoption of EVs.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid charge point at almost every motorway service station and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.

“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone.”