Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

A call for diesel and petrol cars to be banned earlier,by 2032

MPs said that ministers were failing to promote electric vehicles despite rhetoric about the UK being a world leader in the technology MPs said that ministers were failing to promote electric vehicles despite rhetoric about the UK being a world leader in the technologyewis Whyld PA
Ginger Lawrence | 21 October, 2018, 16:13

The committee also recommend that the government subsidise the provision of rapid charge points in remote and rural areas without delay and by 2022.

British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association chief executive Gerry Keaney said: "If India, China and Scotland feel able to set a target of banning new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, then the United Kingdom should be fearless enough to meet that challenge as well".

Beis chair Rachel Reeves MP agreed the target was challenging, but said it could be achieved if the government boosted investment in charging points and maintained subsidies for electric vehicle buyers.

"Zero emission vehicles make up just 0.6% of the market meaning consumer appetite would have to grow by some 17,000% in just over a decade". It calls for a "clear, precise target" for new cars and vans to be zero-emission, eight years earlier than the government's current target date.

"Our EV charging infrastructure is simply not fit for objective. We can not expect consumers to overcome "range anxiety" and switch to electric vehicles if they can not be confident of finding convenient, reliable points to regularly charge their cars", Reeves said.

The committee criticised the Government for leaving delivery of a national charging network to local authorities and private companies, and called for regulations to provide an extensive, reliable and standardised public system.

"The Government needs to get a grip and lead on co-ordinating the financial support and technical know-how necessary for local authorities to promote this infrastructure and help ensure that electric cars are an attractive option for consumers".

The committee wants the target brought forward to 2032 to make the United Kingdom a world leader in electric vehicle (EV) development.

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The Government should ensure buyers of electric vehicles benefit from preferential Vehicle Excise Duty rates and that the introduction of preferential rates on company auto tax for EVs is brought forward "without delay", the committee states.

"Recent government announcements, in particular the recent decision to cut the plug-in auto grant for alternative-fuelled vehicles, could have the unfortunate effect of discouraging motorists from opting for one".

Reeves added: "The Department for Transport's slashing of the Plug-in Grant scheme drives the incentives of buying an electric vehicle into reverse".

"Cutting support is a perverse way to encourage drivers to move to non-polluting cars", Reeves said. This is only the latest sign of the Government's inconsistent approach to developing the market for electric vehicles.

Drawing on research from businesses including Tesla, Nissan Europe, BMW and Toyota, the report urges ministers to align all new transport policies and decisions on grants and subsidies with a zero-emission road transport target. "A more joined-up and consistent approach is needed from Government if the United Kingdom is to seize the business opportunities of electric vehicles and deliver carbon emissions reductions". Despite the inevitable rise in purchases that is set to occur over the coming years, electric cars now only make up 0.6% of all cars sold in the United Kingdom, and plug-in hybrids just 1.6% - meaning they make up a very small proportion of the 31.5 million registered cars on our roads.

The report calls for greater investment in charging infrastructure.

"We understand the rationale behind wanting to bring forward the end of the sale of conventionally fuelled vehicles to 2032", said the organisation's head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes.

"Nor is the technology affordable yet, which would see a ban hurt many low income consumers who can not afford to pay the premiums for low emission electric vehicles".