Government EV strategy needs rapid recharge, warns Lords committee

Tom Barnard

5 Feb 2024

A House of Lords committee report has issued a scathing report warning that the Government needs to put its foot on the accelerator if the UK is to transition to electric vehicles in time to meet net zero targets.

In its report; EV strategy: rapid recharge needed, the Environment and Climate Change Committee has warned that a combination of higher purchase costs, insufficient charging infrastructure and mixed messaging risks discouraging people from making the switch.

While welcoming the ZEV mandate on manufacturers, recent investment in the UK car manufacturing industry and initial support for local authorities, the report calls on the Government to act much faster. This includes tackling the disparity in upfront costs between EVs and petrol and diesel cars and looking at targeted grants to incentivise the purchase of new electric cars.

After taking evidence from a wide range of witnesses and hearing from young people from across the UK the committee also calls on the Government to instil confidence in consumers by incentivising second hand electric car sales, including developing a ‘battery health standard’; reforming road tax to give a clear steer on future motoring costs; equalising VAT for charging to 5% in line with domestic electricity and communicating a positive vision of the EV transition to consumers.

The committee also suggested that infrastructure should be improved by offering a ‘right to charge’ for tenants and leaseholders in multi-occupancy buildings and mandating workplaces install EV charge points.

Baroness Parminter, Chair of the inquiry said: “Surface transport is the UK’s highest emitting sector for CO2, with passenger cars responsible for over half those emissions. The evidence we received shows the Government must do more – and quickly – to get people to adopt EVs. If it fails to heed our recommendations the UK won’t reap the significant benefits of better air quality and will lag in the slow lane for tackling climate change.”

Baroness Parminter chaired the inquiry

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