Government has been warned that the National Grid needs bolstering to cope with electric vehicle demand

·2-min read

The Transport Committee has warned that the National Grid must be strengthened if it is to cope with the strain of millions of electric vehicles needing to be charged.

In a new report, it questioned whether the ‘Government’s current plans are enough to deliver the public charging infrastructure needed across all regions of the UK and whether it will benefit everyone’.

Concerns have also been raised about whether motorists living in rural areas who don’t have the ability to charge at home could be left behind by poor public charging infrastructure.

To address these issues, the report recommends funding for local planning and transport bodies to hire staff with a mandate to deliver charging infrastructure.

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Motorists should also be protected from excessive charges and confusing accounts that make public charging a minefield, as well as addressing the discrepancy between the five per cent VAT rate incurred for home charging and the 20 per cent placed on public charging.

There have been calls for the latter for some time, because it means that charging at home is much cheaper than in public, which unfairly penalises those who cannot do so.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP said: “As car usage returns to pre-pandemic levels, we must keep our sights locked on the target: all new cars and vans should be electric by 2035 at the latest.

“To help consumers see their route to a zero emission world, choosing to run an electric vehicle must be as seamless as possible. Today we offer a set of recommendations to help Government hit the accelerator on its ambition.

“Putting guarantees in place on infrastructure is crucial but one report after another flags concerns to Government about the provision of electric car charging infrastructure.

“Let ours be the last: it’s time that ministers set out the route map to delivering a network of services for everyone across the UK.”

The committee has recommended putting a zero emission vehicle mandate in place that would incentivise manufacturers to increase electric vehicle sales ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles and the 2035 ban on hybrids.

This would require those who sell the fewest EVs to buy credits from those who sell the most, which would then be used to reduce the purchase price of EVs to encourage sales.

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