Zero emission vehicles Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

Uptake of zero emission vehicles

1.A healthy used electric vehicle market is critical to ensuring that electric vehicles are not the sole preserve of people who can afford new models. The Government’s position is that current incentives to stimulate the sale of new EVs are sufficient to support the development of the second-hand EV market. However, electric vehicles that will be traded on the second-hand market in three to five years’ time are likely to be more expensive to buy upfront than comparable ICE models. To drive mass consumer uptake of ZEVs, the Government must ensure that the market facilitates the supply of affordable new and used electric vehicles. (Paragraph 17)

2.In order to ensure that the Government achieves the targets set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, it may need to intervene to support the second-hand market in electric vehicles until price parity with comparable ICE vehicles is reached. (Paragraph 18)

3.A zero emission vehicle mandate would:

4.In order to achieve its 2030 and 2035 targets, the Government must introduce a ZEV mandate to incentivise manufacturers to sell an increasing proportion of ZEVs or to purchase tradeable credits year-on-year, reaching some 100% ZEV sales by 2030. (Paragraph 27)

5.The Government must define ‘significant zero emissions capability’ for the automotive manufacturing industry, while ensuring that only the cleanest possible hybrid technology is available until 2035. It should also maintain a technology-neutral approach to the transition to ZEVs and explore the potential of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen or other alternatives to petrol and diesel, where possible. (Paragraph 32)

Charging infrastructure

6.Drivers who do not have access to off-street parking and who live in rural or remote areas may struggle to charge their vehicles. To ensure that a comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure is in place by 2030, sub-national transport bodies and local authorities will need to implement strategies to deliver a range of practical and accessible charging solutions to suit local needs. (Paragraph 44)

7.As part of its electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy, the Government must explain:

a) how it will support all regions and local authorities to deliver sufficient and well-maintained charging infrastructure solutions tailored to local needs, so that no area is left behind; and

b) how it will ensure that the roll-out of charging infrastructure keeps pace with the increase in EVs and that the right types of chargers are in the right locations. (Paragraph 45)

8.To facilitate the roll-out of charging infrastructure, the Government must:

a) use the upcoming Planning Bill to make public charge point provision a requirement of local plans;

b) make funding for the on-street residential charging scheme dependent upon local authorities having detailed charge point plans in place which support rapid charging options; and

c) ring-fence a portion of the £90 million local charging scheme to allow local authorities to employ dedicated ‘charge point champions’ to deliver local charging infrastructure strategies. (Paragraph 46)

9.The Government must work with National Grid to map the electricity network to assess potential weak areas, especially in rural locations, and to develop a plan to prevent ‘not-spots’ from emerging similar to those during the roll-out of broadband and mobile coverage. (Paragraph 47)

10.Project Rapid, which specifies the number of charge points on the strategic road network by 2023 and beyond, is welcome. However, the spending priorities for the £950 million rapid charging fund are currently obscure. Given the time and expense involved in upgrading grid connections, it is crucial that this money is distributed to unlock investment, provide fully future-proofed grid capacity and secure public confidence in charging infrastructure. (Paragraph 58)

11.The electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy must set out:

a) how the £950 million rapid charging fund will be spent to facilitate the implementation of charging infrastructure; and

b) the measures that the Government is taking to identify and address under-provision at locations outside the strategic road network, where grid connection costs and grid upgrades are expensive and the business case for investment is weak. (Paragraph 59)

12.The Government must amend the wayleave regime for installing charging infrastructure to ensure that that regime does not act as a barrier to roll-out. (Paragraph 60)

13.Charging an electric vehicle should be convenient, straightforward, and inexpensive. To boost consumer confidence in the charging network, to maximise convenience and value for motorists and to facilitate connectivity, all charge points should be interoperable and provide a seamless experience for drivers. We welcome the Government’s commitment to regulate interoperability and pricing transparency for public charge points later in 2021. (Paragraph 69)

14.In the charging infrastructure strategy, the Government must explain how it will improve the consumer experience at public charge points and ensure that

a) drivers can seamlessly access any charging network in any location at any time; and

b) charge point operators are not disincentivised from investing in charging infrastructure. (Paragraph 70)

15.People who rely on public charging infrastructure should get value for money and should not be disadvantaged by unfair pricing mechanisms. (Paragraph 71)

16.The Government must explain how it plans to tackle the potential price differential faced by people who cannot charge their vehicles at home and are compelled to rely on on-street public charge points. It could do this by:

a) protecting the consumer from excessive costs where there are risks of local monopolies emerging; and

b) addressing the discrepancy between the 5% VAT incurred on electricity at home compared with the 20% VAT incurred at public charge points. (Paragraph 72)

Managing energy demand and smart charging

17.We welcome the Government’s commitment to mandate that all new private charge points should be equipped with smart functionality and to introduce the relevant legislation later in 2021. (Paragraph 78)

18.The Government must mandate industry to:

a) use price as a lever to shift consumer behaviour away from conventional refuelling habits towards ‘a little but often’ approach; and

b) incentivise consumers to charge at times when there is less demand on the electricity grid. (Paragraph 79)

Published: 28 July 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement