House of Lords report highlights four key issues for government to resolve to boost confidence in buying EVs

February 07, 2024 by

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“The government must put its foot on the accelerator to reach net zero targets by 2050,” says the House of Lords.

  • House of Lords’ Environment and Climate Change Committee report sets out four key issues for the government to action to boost EV adoption
  • The report concludes the government’s EV strategy needs ‘a rapid recharge’
  • EVs are crucial to reaching Net Zero by 2050
  • Government must tackle barriers to affordability and turbocharge the infrastructure

A report by the House of Lords’ Environment and Climate Change Committee has set out  four key issues that the government needs to take action on to boost EV adoption. Affordability and the state of the charging infrastructure have been set out as significant blockers, and intervention at a government level is needed to encourage more people to buy an electric vehicle (EV) in order for the UK to hit its Net Zero goal for 2050.

The report is the result of research conducted by the House of Lords, and concludes that the government’s EV strategy needs “a rapid recharge”.

The first issue was that consumers need trusted, clear and accurate messaging about EVs from the government to overcome some of the confusion and mixed information that leaves car buyers unsure about choosing an electric car.

Second was that the government should provide financial support to consumers to incentivise them to buy an EV. This could be by reintroducing grants or reducing VAT on EVs to stimulate the market – something that the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) has also suggested to the government.

Third, is that the charging network needs to offer consumers more confidence in both the quality and quantity of the infrastructure, and the government could drive that through new powers to support local authorities in rolling out public charge points.

The report’s fourth and final recommendation to the government is to make charging prices fairer as, at the moment, some public chargers, particularly ultra-rapid types, can be more expensive than petrol. This is partly due to VAT which is 20% on public charging rates but only 5% on domestic electricity supplies.

Baroness Parminter, chair of the inquiry by the House of Lords, 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 that 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.”

Commenting on the House of Lords electric vehicle report, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The Lords report recognises the role government must play in accelerating the EV transition. Many of the recommendations have already been highlighted by industry, such as chargepoint rollout ahead of need, equalising VAT on charging to home charging and the importance of purchase incentives, which could be delivered by a VAT cut. The report also notes the need for clear, consistent communication of the UK’s ambition. The industry will continue to work with government to ensure this is a transition for all – including Ministers whose cars should also be electric by the end of the year.”

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