Car decarb minister Norman urged to act on 300k charging target


Green motoring campaigners have urged decarbonisation minister Jesse Norman to add his name to moves aimed at speeding up Whitehall’s flagging drive towards 300,000 public EV chargepoints this decade.

Only 18,000 on-street or publicly accessible chargepoints for EV drivers are currently registered, analysis this month has found.

Today e-mobility campaigners Zemo Partnership, motoring journalist Quentin Willson’s FairCharge activists & the Climate Group have bonded with the Renewable Energy Association, making clear to minister Norman steps on how he can rescue the government’s faltering roll-out of chargepoints.

The bodies’ joint letter to minister Norman came on the day that the House of Lord’s Climate Change committee announced an inquiry into the growth of electric vehicles.  Public responses are invited before Friday 15 September.

EV re-sales now account for 5.7% of the UK market for used cars, figures from industry trackers the SMMT disclose today for 2023’s second quarter.   “Pure” battery-only pre-loved cars account on their own for 1.7% of used car trades, the 30,600 units changing hands in the three months to June rising by nearly 82% year on year.

Actions urged on decarbonisation minister Norman & on transport secretary Mark Harper in the campaigners’ Recharge UK report ‘Charging Forward to 2030’ include:

  • Introducing a right to charge: Tenants in residential blocks should be protected by government from the high upfront cost of grid connections & installing chargepoints
  • Give councils a duty to speed chargepoint connections, via an obligation to plan for EV infrastructure. That new requirement would also help power transmission operators to plan new grid capacity.
  • Prioritise chargepoints in grid planning: With road freight & “blue-light” services increasingly needing chargepoints, planners should consider them as ‘nationally significant infrastructure’, ensuring TSOs push them up the pecking order for grid hook-ups
  • Introduce a van charging standard to enable tradespeople to top up as easily as private car drivers
  • Mandate more public chargepoints in car parks by specifying more cabling & connections in Whitehall’s continuing Future of Transport Regulatory Review

““By adopting this report’s recommendations in, the government can achieve 300,000 chargepoints by 2030, creating new jobs and driving economic growth“, REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska CBE tells in the campaigners’ joint letter.

“Reinvigorate the charge to Net Zero transport will help end criticism of the capability of charging infrastructure to meet future demand. It will also directly address the geographic inequalities of charging infrastructure that are reported today.

FairCharge’s founder Quentin Willson, pictured, tells minister Norman:

“It’s essential we have political leadership in resolving to create a charging infrastructure that both reassures consumers and generates UK growth, investment and jobs.

“2023 has seen the largest number of charging connections ever and charge point operators have pledged a further £6 billion by 2030. The UK is in a global race to secure EV and charging investment, but we risk becoming last if we don’t have enough connections to support the many billions being spent by the likes of Tata, JLR, Ford, BMW and Stellantis.

A word-class charging infrastructure will keep our UK car industry globally competitive. Building it as fast as we can is critical.”

Read the Charging Forward to 2030 report here.


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