Business Committee launches inquiry into electric vehicles to assess concerns over stalling sales

Rebecca Smith
The inquiry will look at issues such as availability of charge points across the country
The inquiry will look at issues such as availability of charge points across the country (Source: Getty)

The role of electric vehicles as part of the government's industrial strategy will be investigated by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.

The BEIS Committee has launched an inquiry today to scope out the barriers to the market's development and look into concerns that sales and take-up haven't been "as advanced as they should be".

It will also consider what support the market needs to progress and what the government needs to do to make best use of electric vehicles in its industrial strategy.

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MPs will look at charging infrastructure, as well as purchase costs and incentives to bolster electric vehicle sales.

The government’s ability to respond to disruptive developments in the market, such as the emergence of driverless cars, will also be scrutinised. The inquiry will cover all electric road vehicles, including buses, HGVs, cars, motorcycles and vans.

Iain Wright MP, the chair of the BEIS Committee, said:

If the UK is to meet its decarbonisation goals and move successfully to a prosperous low carbon economy, then a thriving electric vehicles market is vital.

As a Committee we want to investigate concerns that electric vehicle sales and roll-out are not as advanced as they should be and that people may be put off buying an electric car due to a postcode lottery of charging infrastructure, with the availability of charge points varying substantially across the country.

The Committee wants submissions on written evidence regarding challenges and opportunities for electric vehicles and what support for purchase costs the government should provide after 2018. The closing date for submissions is 13 April.

Read more: Range anxiety will soon be a thing of the past for electric vehicle drivers

Car firms have been increasingly focusing on electric cars, partly as a drive to reduce emissions.

Tough EU rules come into force in 2021 that will make car firms cut the average emissions across their range of cars sold and many are looking at hybrid technology and fully electric cars in a bid to meet the targets.

Volvo recently unveiled more details about the electric car it's launching in 2019. It aims to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2025.

And Jaguar unveiled its first electric vehicle, the I-PACE last year, with the concept hitting London streets for the first time earlier this week. It will be on the road in the second half of next year.

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