A REPORT from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee says the Government’s 2040 targets for zero emission cars are vague and unambitious.

The Electric vehicles: driving the transition report says that the Government should bring forward a clear, precise target for new sales of cars and vans to be zero emission by 2032.

It also says that the poor provision of charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the greatest barriers to growth in the UK EV market.

The Committee wants the Government to take the lead in ensuring charging points are provided nationwide and to help local authorities access greater technical and financial support to develop charging infrastructure across the country, including in remote and rural areas.

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said:

“Electric vehicles are increasingly popular, and present exciting opportunities for the UK to develop an internationally competitive EV industry and reduce our carbon emissions. But, for all the rhetoric of the UK becoming a world leader in EVs, the reality is that the Government’s deeds do not match the ambitions of their words.

“If we are serious about being EV world leaders, the Government must come forward with a target of new sales of cars and vans to be zero emission by 2032.

“Our EV charging infrastructure is simply not fit for purpose. We cannot expect consumers to overcome ‘range anxiety’ and switch to electric vehicles if they cannot be confident of finding convenient, reliable points to regularly charge their cars.

“The Government cannot simply will the ends and leave local government, or private companies, to deliver the means. The Government needs to get a grip and lead on coordinating 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.”

Electric car charging

Zero emission cars: Committee wants precise target date

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney commented:

“The Government’s electric vehicle strategy needs to move from one based on visions to one based on actions. If India, China and Scotland feel able to set a target of banning new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, then the UK should be brave enough to meet that challenge as well.

“As the purchasers of more than 50% of all new vehicles sold in the UK each year, the vehicle rental and leasing industry is more than capable of delivering this transition to zero emission transport – if the government can provide the right supportive environment.

“The Government needs to do a lot more than just boost the roll-out of electric charging points. We need a comprehensive and joined up set of national and local incentives for electric vehicle users, plus a clear roadmap for how they will be taxed.

“At the moment, we have a misguided strategy that is withdrawing incentives and raising taxes for electric vehicles at the exact time we are trying to drive uptake.

“The coming Budget offers a perfect opportunity for the Government to address these glaring policy gaps. The whole automotive industry is speaking with one voice on this, but no-one in Government appears to be listening.”