The Treasury has launched a £400m fund to bolster Britain’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with the first £70m allocated for 3,000 rapid charge points – more than doubling the number across 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, while simultaneously growing our economy, and setting an ambitious target for net zero emissions by 2050.”

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid chargepoint 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.”

The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, and government will invest up to £200m to be matched by private investors.