MPs are piling on the pressure and urging the government to be far more ambitious in zero emission vehicle targets and ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.
The call significantly brings forward the target outlined earlier this year by the prime minister who insisted that all new cars and vans should be "effectively zero emission" by 2040.
MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee have said more efforts need to be made to improve the UK’s charging infrastructure in order to facilitate the roll-out of EVs. The latest report published today claims 2040 targets for zero emission cars are “vague and unambitious”.
The report finds that the poor provision of charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the greatest barriers to growing the UK EV market.
The committee calls on the government to take the lead in ensuring charging points are provided nationwide and help local authorities access greater technical and financial support to develop charging infrastructure across the country, including in remote and rural areas.
Committee chair Rachel Reeves lambasted the UK's EV charging infrastructure as “simply not fit for purpose”.
She added: "Electric vehicles are increasingly popular, and present exciting opportunities for the UK to develop an internationally competitive EV industry and reduce our carbon emissions. But, for all the rhetoric of the UK becoming a world leader in EVs, the reality is that the Government’s deeds do not match the ambitions of their words.
Questions on the ability to implement such a change by 2032 has been asked. Despite the inevitable rise in purchases that is set to occur over the coming years, electric cars currently only make up 0.6% of all cars sold in the UK, and plug-in hybrids just 1.6% - meaning they make up a very small proportion of the 31.5 million registered cars on our roads.
But the report does emphasise the need to a focus on reskilling the existing car industry workforce so they are equipped to help lead the transition to mass use of electric vehicles.
Responding to the BEIS select committee report, a spokesman for the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “With more drivers making the switch from petrol and diesel to electric cars each year, the committee are right to highlight the need for action now so that our infrastructure doesn’t dampen this growing demand. Through our National Infrastructure Assessment, we recommend the Government work with Ofgem and local authorities to create a truly national, visible charging network and ensure people can make the switch confident they will be able to charge their cars during or at the end of their journey – wherever in the country that is.”