The role of electric vehicles in the transition to a low
carbon economy and as part of the government’s industrial strategy is to be
investigated by the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(BEIS) Committee in a new inquiry amid concerns that a postcode lottery of charging infrastructure could be hampering growth.
The Committee will examine barriers to the market’s
development and the support it needs to progress and consider how the government
can optimise electric vehicles as part of a strong industrial strategy. MPs
will look at charging infrastructure as well as purchase costs and incentives
to increase electric vehicle sales.
The government’s road transport decarbonisation strategy and
its ability to respond to potentially disruptive shifts in the market, such as
the emergence of driverless cars, will also be scrutinised. The inquiry will
cover all electric road vehicles, including buses, HGVs, cars, motorcycles and
Committee chairman Iain Wright 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.”
The Committee is inviting submissions on written evidence on
the following issues by Thursday, 13 April:
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
What support for purchase costs should
the government provide after 2018, in response to the changing costs of
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?