Liberty Charge welcomes Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy but suggests it could go even further
Liberty Charge welcomes the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy published on Friday 2nd March as an important step in the right direction, but Neil Isaacson, Liberty Charge CEO, believes that there’s even more that can be done to achieve the Prime Minister’s ambition to be the fastest nation in the G7 to decarbonise road transport.
“Although this is a really positive step, we believe that there are some additional elements to the strategy that would make it even more powerful. For example, a scrappage scheme to get the worst polluting cars off the road, and a VAT cut to on-street charging to 5% to bring it in line with off-street charging. We also urgently need further clarification on requirements for how local authorities can access the funds available, if we are to reach 300,000 public EV charge points by 2030,” he says.
Neil says the Government needs to ensure the strategy provides a springboard for local authorities to act, and act now: “The £500m investment is extremely positive news in ensuring that funds are available, and particularly that £50 million has been apportioned to much-needed local authority staffing,” he says.
“Further clarification is urgently needed as to how local authorities can access funds. Without this, there will be delays until Local Authorities get that clarification, and stalling could seriously jeopardize our ability to meet the 2030 target.”
But the strategy is largely welcomed, in particular that any rapid charging point installed has to work at a minimum 99% reliability rate, although the devil will be in the detail: “When the equipment leaves the factory, it can of course have a reliability rate of 99% or more,” Neil adds, “but reliability is more often a factor of poor installation and poor maintenance, and this is a point that needs to be more explicit in the Government’s plan.
“Overall, the Government’s commitment is clearly there, which can only be good news for our road to sustainable transport, but we need greater detail, clarity and meaningful action if we are to achieve these critical targets.”