Government reveals electric vehicle infrastructure expansion plans as manufacturers champion such machinery in London.
Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill 2017
A Government Bill has proposed measures that make it easier to access electric vehicle fuelling infrastructure as motor manufacturers gathered in London to promote their latest, eco-friendly, models. The Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill stated that motorway service stations - and big fuel retailers - might be required to provide charge points and hydrogen pumps, for starters.
The Bill further suggested that electric vehicle charge point operators might have to make certain information available to drivers. Information “likely to be useful”, it said. This could be:
- “the location of the point and its operating hours,
- available charging or refuelling options,
- the cost of obtaining access to the use of the point,
- the method of payment or other way in which access to the use of the point may be obtained,
- means of connection to the point,
- whether the point is in working order,
- whether the point is in use.”
Government keen to increase use of low emission vehicles
John Hayes, Minister of State for Transport said: “If we are to accelerate the use of electric vehicles, we must take action now and be ready to take more action later. I recognise that to encourage more drivers to go electric, the infrastructure needs to become even more widespread than the 11,000 charging points already in place, and more straightforward.”
“We are determined to do all we can to make electric vehicles work for everyone, and these new laws will help make this a reality.”
Drivers put-off by lack of infrastructure
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – a body that promotes the interests of the motor industry – explained that drivers increasingly favour low emission, alternatively fuelled, vehicles. In January 2017, therefore, market share hit a record 4.2%. Incentives include low running costs, cheap or free tax and the Government's Plug-In Car Grant which slashes the purchase cost.
However, its survey confirmed that of the motorists ready to purchase only 13% are “most likely” to pick alternative power sources. Lack of infrastructure is among the primary reasons, the Society argued. It added that 48% worry that it is difficult to source “available, working, and compatible” electric charge points.
The Society further confirmed that there is now 83 alternatively fuelled vehicles available in The United Kingdom. Of those that gathered in London, close to Tower Bridge, highlights included the:
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (prestigious sports utility model),
- Renault Zoe (easy to manoeuvre, low cost, supermini),
- Nissan LEAF (practical, good value, small family hatchback),
- Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design (ultra-safe sports-utility vehicle).