Schools will be given £5 million of government money to pay for electric vehicle chargers and can rent them out to the public to generate extra cash.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) will receive the funding from the Department for Transport, which will cover up to 75 per cent of the cost to buy and install charge points.

Previously the government would pay £350 per socket but this has been increased to £2,500, technology and decarbonisation minister Anthony Browne has announced.

The Workplace Charging Scheme is available for state-funded schools, colleges, nurseries and academies to boost the number of charging points for staff and visitors.

The government said it could also help schools to generate revenue by making their charging points available to the public.

“We’re getting on with delivering our plan for drivers and this latest set of measures will mean electric vehicle owners everywhere benefit from easier and more convenient access to charge points, with more than £5 million of dedicated funding just for East Sussex,” said Mr Brown.

“Across the country, the government has already spent over £2 billion to ensure a smooth switch to electric vehicles, and we’re committed to supporting drivers as we transition towards net zero in a proportionate way that doesn’t burden working people.”

ESCC will receive £5,028,000 to fund the project.

An increasing number of driver are making the switch to electric vehicles, with fully electric vehicles accounting for over 16 per cent of the new UK car market in 2023, the government said.

The number of plug-in vehicles in the UK has also risen to around 1.2 million, of which 770,000 are fully battery-electric.

Minister for the school system and student finance at the Department for Education, Baroness Barran, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for schools across England to become part of an ongoing move towards a greener public sector.

“Schools engaging with this grant will be supporting the development of green infrastructure, helping to improve their local environments.

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“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 grant is for state-funded schools and education institutions which must have dedicated off-street parking facilities.