On the recommendation of the Independent Committee on Climate Change, the Government plans to bring forward to 2035 the date at which sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles end. I understand, subject to consultation, that the date could become even sooner if a faster transition proves feasible.
Electric vehicles (EVs) will play a crucial role in helping the UK to hit its ambitious, legally binding target for the UK to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The infrastructure is being put in place to facilitate the transition to EVs – including public chargepoints, residential on-street chargepoints as well as rapid and smart chargepoints.
Last year alone, a fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes. The plug-in car grant has so far supported the purchase of over 170,000 new ultra-low emission cars, and the Government is now focusing the grant on the cleanest, zero emission models.
In addition, Government funding, alongside private sector investment, has supported the installation of more than 17,000 public chargepoints, including over 1,700 rapid chargepoints - one of the largest networks in Europe. The first £70 million of the £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund has also now been allocated and will see another 3,000 rapid chargepoints installed. Ministers want all new public rapid chargepoints to offer ‘pay as you go’ credit and debit card payments by spring 2020.
Furthermore, chargepoints in homes and on residential streets are vital. I welcome that a consultation has been held on all new-build homes in England being fitted with chargepoints. I am also pleased that residents with on-street parking will also benefit from an extra £2.5 million funding for the On-Street residential chargepoint scheme. This will enable local authorities to continue building the charge-point infrastructure.