The government has urged local authorities to increase efforts to promote electric vehicle uptake, claiming that just five UK councils have invested in an official plug-in car charging scheme.

Ministers Jesse Norman and Claire Perry have written to local authorities, appealing for them to take up the On-Street Residential Charge Point Scheme, which was launched by the government in 2016.

The programme provides funding for councils to buy and install electric vehicle charging points and is said to reduce such costs by up to 75%.

The government said that local authorities could fund the remaining costs through public and private sources and that £4.5 million of funding remains available.

It said the scheme was specifically designed to encourage electric vehicle uptake among residents who lack off-street parking, which renders it more difficult to charge plug-in vehicles in a domestic environment.

“Around a third of homes in England do not have off-street parking,” it said, “as a result, on-street charge points like those being offered through this scheme have the potential to entice drivers to switch to electric.”

“We are in the early stages of an electric revolution in the UK transport sector, and connectivity is at its heart,” said transport minister Jesse Norman.

“Millions of homes in the UK do not have off-street parking, so this funding is important to help local councils ensure that all their residents can take advantage of this revolution.”