Government puts electric vehicle role in the spotlight.

InstaVolt has welcomed a pledge from the Government to investigate the part electric vehicles have to play in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

The electric vehicle charging company, headquartered in Basingstoke, says it hopes it will unveil a clear roadmap for improving charging infrastructure.

The Government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has announced the launch of a new investigation into the role of electric vehicles in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

It is set to examine what support the market needs to progress, what barriers exist and how the Government can optimise electric vehicles as part of a strong Industrial Strategy.

MPs will also look at charging infrastructure as well as purchase costs and incentives to increase electric vehicle sales.

A more accessible charging infrastructure

Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, says: “This inquiry is very much welcome news and what we’re hoping is that it will unveil a clear roadmap of how we improve charging infrastructure across the UK.

“Research shows time and time again that fear of not being able to charge up is one of the key barriers to people adopting electric vehicles. While companies like ours are making great strides to eliminate that fear by installing thousands of rapid charge units over the next few years, more can be done.

“Similarly, we would welcome any rules to make information on charging more universal and transparent is a positive move. As a company that was founded on the idea of making rapid chargers more accessible to all, with no subscriptions, it’s something we’re passionate about.”

Public opinion sought

The committee is inviting submissions on written evidence on several issues as part of the project, including:

  • What are the key barriers to development of the UK’s electric vehicle market?
  • Does the Government’s Industrial Strategy sufficiently address the challenges and opportunities for electric vehicles?
  • What support for purchase costs should the Government provide after 2018, in response to the changing costs of electric vehicles?
  • How best can the Government ensure that there is consistent provision of charging infrastructure across the country?
  • Is the Government’s road transport decarbonisation strategy sufficiently flexible to adapt to potentially disruptive market trends such as driverless cars? How might these impact requirements for, and use of, charging infrastructure?

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 13 April 2017.

‘A thriving electric vehicles market is vital’

Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Iain Wright MP said: “If the UK is to meet its decarbonisation goals and move successfully to a prosperous low carbon economy, then a thriving electric vehicles market is vital.

“Our inquiry will follow on closely from our recent investigation into Industrial Strategy.  Its focus is to assess how the government’s approach to ‘picking winners’, in this case electric vehicles, can best exploit the opportunities arising from this technology as a means of enhancing the strengths of the UK automotive industry as well as moving to a low carbon economy.  It will take a close look at the factors holding back the electric car market and examine options for how it can be better supported.

“As a Committee, we want to investigate concerns that electric vehicle sales and roll-out are not as advanced as they should be and that people may be put off buying an electric car due to a postcode lottery of charging infrastructure, with the availability of charge points varying substantially across the country.”

This inquiry is expected to feed into a broader innovation inquiry due to be launched in the coming month.

The closing date for submissions on written evidence is Thursday 13 April 2017. Views can be submitted through the electric vehicles inquiry page.

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