The uptake of electric vehicles is too slow because of the government’s failure to invest properly in rapid charging infrastructure, claims MPs.
Ministers’ target of ensuring that nine per cent of new cars and vans registered on British roads by 2020 were classed as ultra-low emissions vehicles would fall short by half, a cross-party group has said.
Sales of new plug-in cars have steadily increased over the past three years, with 75,000 being registered by the start of August this year compared with just 3,500 in the whole of 2013.
But a report published today predicts that that’s not enough, claiming green vehicles would account for just three to seven per cent of the market by 2020.
The report said: “It leaves the UK playing catch-up with the nine per cent market share that the committee on climate change advises would keep the country on the lowest-cost path to its overall 2050 emissions reduction target.”
MPs said that the government’s failure to properly push the sale of electric cars meant that most customers didn’t see the technology as a viable alternative to petrol or diesel vehicles.
Local councils have warned that the lack of strategy over installing charging points has made it difficult for electric car owners to easily travel long distances.
The report also claimed that the slow uptake of electric cars was having a knock-on effect on pollution in city centres, saying air quality targets that were supposed to be met by 2010 will now not be met until 2020 at the earliest.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We have committed more than £600 million over this parliament to support the ultra-low emissions vehicle market, which will help to maintain the UK’s international standing as one of the largest markets for ultra-low emissions vehicles in the world.”
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.