New electric car charging rules 'frustrating' because 'money is lacking'

The promises for drivers in the Labour Party manifesto have been branded "frustratingly unclear" amid fears they won't address a "seriously lagging" level of electric vehicle (EV) sales. The electric vehicle industry have slammed Labour and Sir Keir Starmer ahead of the General Election.

The Labour Party manifesto pledges to speed up "the roll out of charge points" across the country. Paul Tomlinson, co-founder of Cord, said Labour has been "frustratingly unclear" on what it would do to boost the uptake of electric vehicles.

Tomlinson said: "It won't happen without some help. Private EV sales are seriously lagging. Public money is tight, but there are a series of small interventions which could do a lot, and wouldn’t cost much."

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Tomlinson added: "End fossil fuel subsidies. The Government has spent an estimated £130billion freezing the fuel tax since 2011, a massive subsidy for fossil fuel driving. Thawing out that freeze would send the appropriate price signal to drivers on the fence about making the switch.”

Following the launch of the Labour manifesto, RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “It’s pleasing to see major concerns for drivers, such as local road maintenance and the transition to electric vehicles, high on the list of Labour’s priorities if they win power. However, there is an important issue which is notably absent.

“The previous Government promised £8.3bn of reallocated HS2 funding to resurface 5,000 miles of local roads. With no mention of reinstating HS2, it’s not apparent whether Labour would honour this spending commitment to tackle the nation’s pothole problem. If that proportion of budget – which would only resurface 3% of all council-run roads in England – is no longer dedicated to road maintenance, the proposed £320m from the A27 bypass would not even be a drop in the ocean.

“The promise to restore 2030 as the phase-out deadline for new petrol and diesel vehicles comes as no surprise. Arguably it’s the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate that’s already in place which is more important, as it’s forcing manufacturers to sell an increasing proportion of electric vehicles over the next few years and should, in itself, help drive uptake.

“However, it remains the case that electric vehicles are still far too expensive for a majority of drivers. The next Government has a great opportunity to stimulate demand by reintroducing a plug-in car grant aimed at the cheaper end of the market. This would make zero-emission driving a possibility for far more people.”