Wednesday 28 July 2021 12:01 am

MPs join call to end electric vehicle charging 'postcode lottery'

MPs have added their voice to calls for the government to lay out a clear plan for how it will deliver sufficient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles across the UK by 2030.

A new report from the transport select committee said that it was vital for ministers to work with the National Grid to identify areas without charging infrastructure or where the grid would not be able to cope with additional capacity.

The report comes hot on the heels of a similar study by the UK’s competition watchdog, which raised concerns about the choice and availability of chargepoints at motorway service stations.

It warned that drivers who live in rural or remote areas or who do not have off-street parking risk being left behind.

In order to tackle this, public charge provision should be made a requirement of local development and ministers should provide funding for local authorities to hire staff to deliver charging infrastructure.

In addition, ministers should address the discrepancy between the 5 per cent VAT consumers pay for home charging and 20 per cent VAT for the on-street alternative.

Committee chair Huw Merriman said that if the government was going to hit its target of ending sales of all non-electric cars by 2035, charging needs to be “as seamless as possible”.

“Charging electric vehicles should be convenient, straightforward and inexpensive and drivers must not be disadvantaged by where they live or how they charge their vehicles.”

He added that it was vital that the rollout did not see a repeat of the broadband and mobile ‘not spot’ lottery, which left some consumers in rural without access to decent mobile and internet service.

Graeme Cooper, head of future markets at National Grid, said: “We’ll be working with Government to map out where critical grid capacity is needed to enable the faster roll out of charging points. But also looking a step ahead to the needs of electric or hydrogen trucks and other forms of transport.

“There will be an uptick in demand for energy so we need to ensure that we are future proofing, putting the right wires in the right place for future demand.” 

City A.M. has contacted the DfT for comment.