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Government warned National Grid needs bolstering to cope with electric vehicle demand

  • Transport committee says the National Grid won’t be able to cope with additional EV charging demand
  • Concerns raised that those living in rural areas will be left behind by charging network
  • Report recommends more funding for local planning and transport bodies

Time 2 months ago

The National Grid needs to be strengthened if it is to cope with the strain of millions of electric vehicles needing to be charged, the transport committee has warned.

The parliamentary committee has produced a new report, in which it questioned whether the government will be able to deliver its current goals when it comes to electrification.

The report raised particular concern about whether motorists living in rural areas who don’t have the ability to charge at home could be left behind by poor public charging infrastructure.


To address the issues, the report recommends funding for local planning and transport bodies to hire staff with a mandate to deliver charging infrastructure.

The committee also wants protection for motorists from excessive charges and confusing accounts that make public charging a minefield, as well as addressing the discrepancy between the five per cent VAT rate incurred for home charging and the 20 per cent placed on public charging.

There have been calls for the latter for some time, because it means charging at home is much cheaper than in public, which unfairly penalises those who cannot do so.

Committee chairman Huw Merriman said: ‘As car usage returns to pre-pandemic levels, we must keep our sights locked on the target: all new cars and vans should be electric by 2035 at the latest.


‘To help consumers see their route to a zero-emission world, choosing to run an electric vehicle must be as seamless as possible. Today we offer a set of recommendations to help government hit the accelerator on its ambition.

‘Putting guarantees in place on infrastructure is crucial but one report after another flags concerns to government about the provision of electric car charging infrastructure.

‘Let ours be the last: it’s time that ministers set out the route map to delivering a network of services for everyone across the UK.’

The committee has recommended putting a zero-emission vehicle mandate in place that would incentivise manufacturers to increase EV sales ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

This would require those who sell the fewest EVs to buy credits from those who sell the most, which would then be used to reduce the purchase price of EVs to encourage sales.

Most hybrids will be banned from 2035.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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