The House of Lords committee has recommended that Ministers take action to support the growth of the used electric vehicle industry and address worries about the condition of their batteries.
Members of the environment and climate change committee advised the government to increase their efforts in promoting the use of electric vehicles, as consumers have concerns about the price of the vehicles, the lifespan of their batteries, and the accessibility of charging stations.
Government officials are being urged to intervene in order to address the unequal initial expenses associated with electric vehicles (EVs) compared to traditional petrol and diesel cars. Additionally, they are recommending the implementation of specific grants to encourage the adoption of EVs. Throughout their seven-month investigation, experts consistently emphasized the need for a universal battery health testing standard across all industries to provide consumers with transparent and trustworthy information.
The research expressed worries about the secondary market, as the majority of cars being resold are SUVs or cars priced at over £40,000 that were initially purchased by companies and early adopters of electric vehicles, making them inaccessible to the average consumer.
According to the peers, grants should be given in order to reduce expenses and make purchases more affordable. This would stimulate a market that is considered “affordable.” Once electric and fossil fuel cars become equally priced, the subsidies should then gradually decrease.
In 2022, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported that there were 35.1 million cars on UK roads, with 650,000 being purely electric. This marked a milestone as the total number of electric cars sold in the UK surpassed 1 million.
Attempts to achieve a net zero emission target seem to have been hindered by a string of actions by the ruling Conservative party, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promises to put an end to “anti-car policies”. In 2020, Sunak extended the deadline for the prohibition of new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030 to 2035, contradicting previous promises made regarding climate change.
The announcement made by Sunak stated that reaching net zero would be a difficult task. The Lords expressed their concern that the government’s focus on the costs without highlighting the benefits and countering false information was not instilling public trust.
The government has expressed concern to us about the level of false information being spread, but they have not shown the same level of urgency in addressing it. With conflicting information and sensational headlines, people need a reliable and unbiased source for accurate and thorough information.
The expansion of London’s ultra-low emission zone and low-traffic neighbourhoods has also faced opposition from conservatives.
The report by the Lords also suggested that regulations for planning should be evaluated in order to accelerate the implementation of charging infrastructure. They also proposed a decrease in VAT rates for public charging to assist individuals who do not have access to off-street parking. Additionally, they advised investing in battery recycling facilities within the UK.
The chair of the inquiry, Lady Parminter, stated that the government needs to take further action to encourage the adoption of EVs. Ignoring their recommendations could result in the UK missing out on the advantages of improved air quality and falling behind in addressing climate change.
The authorities have been asked for a statement.