National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt has today written a letter to the editor of The Times, in response to its article on the challenge of preparing for the expected growth in electric vehicles in the UK, part of a series of articles on the theme of ‘Electric Britain’. The text of his published letter is reproduced below.
‘Sir, Your report on the challenge of charging electric cars (“The old-style petrol station will be replaced . . . but by what?”, The Times Business, Jan 14) highlights the need for solutions to help such vehicles go mainstream. A national rapid-charging network is vital to help drivers to make the switch from filling up to plugging in with confidence.
If we are going to aim for close to 100 per cent electric new car and van sales by 2030, as recommended in our National Infrastructure Assessment, speed is of the essence. Subsidising charging solutions in rural and hard-to-reach areas that are unlikely to be served by the market in the short term would send a strong signal of ministers’ intent.
The national infrastructure strategy to be published with the Budget in March is a chance for the government to do this as part of a comprehensive action plan to put electric vehicles at the heart of the UK’s net zero emissions strategy.’
In the National Infrastructure Assessment, published in July 2018, the Commission recommended a package of measures to prepare the UK for the growth of electric vehicle usage, including a recommendation that government, the regulator Ofgem and local authorities should enable the roll out of infrastructure to allow demand to reach close to 100 per cent electric new car and van sales by 2030.