A House of Lords committee report has warned the government needs to put its foot on the accelerator if the UK is to transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in time to meet net zero targets.
In its report EV strategy: rapid recharge needed‘, the Environment and Climate Change Committee has warned that a combination of higher purchase costs, insufficient charging infrastructure and mixed messaging risks people not adopting EV cars.
While welcoming the ZEV mandate on manufacturers, recent investment in the UK car manufacturing industry and support for local authorities, including the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, the report calls on the Government to act much faster.
This includes tackling the disparity in upfront costs between EVs and petrol and diesel cars and looking at targeted grants to incentivise the purchase of new electric cars.
It has called to instil confidence in consumers by exploring options to incentivise second hand electric car sales, including developing a ‘battery health standard’, reforming road tax, equalising VAT for charging, and communicating a positive vision of EVs with accurate information.
In addition is said the rollout of the charging infrastructure in the UK should include extending LEVI funding for another three years, consulting on a ‘right to charge’ for tenants in multi-occupancy buildings, reviewing planning regulation to enable the rollout of charging infrastructure and consulting on mandating workplaces to have EV charging.
Also it called to enhance UK manufacturing and battery innovation and accelerating investment in battery recycling facilities.
Baroness Parminter, Chair of the inquiry said: “Surface transport is the UK’s highest emitting sector for CO2, with passenger cars responsible for over half those emissions. The evidence we received shows the Government must do more – and quickly – to get people to adopt EVs. If it fails to heed our recommendations the UK won’t reap the significant benefits of better air quality and will lag in the slow lane for tackling climate change.”
“The evidence we received shows the Government must do more to get people to adopt EVs. If it fails to heed our recommendations the UK won’t reap the significant benefits of better air quality and will lag in the slow lane for tackling climate change.”
Quentin Willson, Founder of FairCharge, said:
“FairCharge has been saying that the Government is falling behind on electrification, sending out mixed messages to consumers and not correcting the many myths and misinformation out there. With one million EVs now on our roads there are simple and relatively inexpensive levers that the Government can use to increase adoption further. An official battery state of health certificate on used EVs is a good idea as is cutting the 20% VAT on public charging to 5%. We need a government EV champion to spur on growth and investment before it’s too late.”
Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) said:
“The Environment and Climate Change Committee is right to highlight the issue of battery life as something that needs addressing. The IMI, which already operates the IMI TechSafe accreditation for those working on electric vehicles, would welcome the opportunity to identify how we can support an industry standard. All the evidence shows that EV batteries have a longer useful life than at first thought; creating an industry standard assessment could be a significant game-changer in creating consumer confidence which, in turn, would stimulate sales of both used and new electric vehicles.”
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