News of a boost for electric vehicle manufacturing and positive sales are a vote of confidence in an electric future for UK road transport, but must be matched by investment in charging infrastructure to help drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel cars and vans to electric, reduce air pollution and support efforts to meet the country’s new Net Zero carbon emission objective.
Jaguar Land Rover has today confirmed a major new investment in its Castle Bromwich assembly plant, which will turn it into the UK’s most technologically advanced electric vehicle and battery manufacturing outlet; yesterday, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders showed registrations of new Battery EV vehicles went up from 1,522 in June 18 to 2,461 in June 19.
This growth in interest in EVs must be sustained by further investment and support for charging infrastructure in the UK. In the National Infrastructure Assessment, the Commission called for the government to ensure that charging infrastructure was in place to enable new car and van sales reaching close to 100 per cent electric by 2030, including supporting development of a national rapid charging network by the early 2020s. This would mean subsidising the provision of rapid charging points in rural and remote areas by 2022 where the market won’t deliver in the short term; getting local authorities to allocate 25 per cent of their parking spaces for possible charging by 2025; and regulator Ofgem removing barriers to connecting chargers to the network.
National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt said:
“This investment in EVs technology is welcome and highlights an increasingly electric future for transport in this country, but we must support drivers to make the switch and address concerns about range anxiety. The government now needs an action plan to effectively charge up Britain and it should start by rolling out a national charging network and subsidising rapid charge points in rural and remote areas where the market will not deliver straight away.”
Read more about the Commission’s #ChargeUpBritain campaign here.