Monday 28 June 2021 / 10:30 PM Business / Ed Miliband / Environment

Analysis reveals UK has only 15% of the charging points it needs to meet net zero

Analysis reveals UK has only 15% of the charging points it needs to meet net zero – as Labour warns of two-tier transport Britain unless Government changes course 

Labour has warned of a gulf emerging between those who can access the benefits of the transition to electric vehicles and those who will be locked out – because of the patchy access to charging points across the country and the upfront price of vehicles. The warning comes following new analysis from Labour that shows the UK has only 15% of the charging points the Government’s own climate advisers have said will be needed by 2025 to meet the country’s climate targets.

It is currently far more difficult to drive an electric car in the North and Midlands than it is in London or the South because of the serious disparity in the number of charging points. The latest official figures show you are currently four times more likely to find a charging point in London than in Yorkshire.

According to the Committee on Climate Change, there need to be around 150,000 public charge points operating in our country by 2025 and these should be “widely available across the UK”. The Government is currently trailing way behind at only 22,790 public charging points – meaning more than 127,000 must be installed in just the next few years.

Labour has welcomed the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, but is ringing the alarm about their failure to outline how they will support Britain’s car industry, and make electric vehicles affordable for all. Having recently cut subsidies for zero emission vehicles, the Government’s approach risks creating a ‘two-tier transport Britain’ and pricing some families out of car ownership.

Labour’s plan would support people across the country to make the switch to electric, aiding the country’s transition to net zero.

  • Make electric vehicle ownership affordable by offering long-term interest-free loans for new and used electric vehicles to those on low to middle incomes to remove the upfront cost barrier; and trialling a national scrappage scheme
  • Make it easier for people to drive an electric vehicle, wherever they live, by accelerating the roll-out of charging points on streets and targeting areas left out like Yorkshire, the North West and the West Midlands

 

Under Labour, delivering charge points would be treated as a national infrastructure project, led by central government through our National Infrastructure Bank and working with local authorities.

Labour has pledged to back Britain’s car manufacturing industry with an industrial strategy for the sector. The Party would create jobs by part-financing the creation of three new, additional gigafactories by 2025, providing greater security for the sector and shoring up Britain’s global leadership in the electric vehicle market.

Ed Miliband MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, speaking ahead of an address to the SMMT conference, said: 

“It’s right to be setting 2030 as the phase-out date for new petrol and diesel cars but government is just not providing the support, strategy and leadership to make this transition the boost for jobs it should be and fair for consumers.

“As we saw with the Climate Change Committee’s devastating report last week, this is yet another example where government rhetoric is simply not matched by action and delivery.

“The Government’s failure to roll out charging points across the country and the decision to cut the plug-in grant risks baking in unfairness in our country as we move towards a zero emission future.

“For the minicab driver who relies on their car for work and is thinking the price of an electric car is simply out of their reach. For the commuter who relies on their car but is also worried about being priced out. For those in rural areas, the Midlands and the North where you may not be able to access a charging point.

“Government needs to step up and support new gigafactories, provide the means for consumers on lower and middle-incomes to afford electric vehicles and ensure the charging points are there throughout our country.”

And he will say at the Conference:

“My message to the automotive industry as Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary is this:

“— that in me, you will always have a champion for this industry and the contribution it makes to Britain;

“—that I firmly believe that, if Government and industry works together, we can secure the sector’s future as a global leader;

“—- and that in order to achieve this, a Labour Government would support our automotive manufacturers with a comprehensive industrial strategy.”