Peers urge ministers to reduce the cost of pre-owned electric vehicles and address concerns about their batteries.
The House of Lords committee has stated that ministers should take action to increase the demand for used electric vehicles and address any worries about the battery’s condition.
The government was urged by members of the environment and climate change committee to increase efforts in promoting the use of electric vehicles, as consumers have concerns about the expense of the vehicles, the lifespan of their batteries, and the accessibility of charging stations.
The report states that government officials should intervene in addressing the unequal initial expenses for electric vehicles compared to traditional petrol and diesel cars. They should also consider offering specific grants to encourage the adoption of electric cars. Throughout the seven-month investigation, experts consistently recommended implementing a universal battery health testing standard across industries to provide consumers with transparent and reassuring information.
The research expressed worries about the secondary market because the majority of cars being resold are either SUVs or vehicles priced over £40,000 that are being sold by companies and people who were among the first to adopt electric vehicles. This makes them unaffordable for most consumers.
The group suggested providing grants to lower expenses and promote a more accessible market for purchases, with the intention of gradually reducing subsidies once both electric and fossil fuel vehicles are priced equally.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, there were 35.1 million cars on UK roads in 2022, with 650,000 being fully electric. On Monday, it was announced that the total number of electric cars sold in the UK has exceeded 1 million.
Attempts to achieve a net zero target have been seemingly hindered by a string of actions taken by the ruling Conservative party, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promises to put an end to “anti-car policies”. In the previous year, Sunak postponed the prohibition of new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030 to 2035, which contradicts previous promises made for the sake of addressing climate change.
In his announcement, Sunak stated that reaching net zero will be a difficult task. The Lords expressed concern that by focusing on the costs and not highlighting the advantages, as well as not effectively addressing false information, the government is not instilling confidence in the public.
The government has expressed concern to us about the amount of false information, but they have not shown the same level of urgency in addressing it. As a result of conflicting statements and sensational headlines, people need a reliable source for trustworthy, easy-to-understand, and unbiased information.
The growth of London’s ultra-low emission zone and low-traffic neighbourhoods has also been met with opposition from conservatives.
The report from the Lords also suggested that there should be a review of planning regulations to accelerate the implementation of charging infrastructure. Additionally, they recommended reducing VAT rates for public charging in order to assist those who do not have access to off-street parking. It was also suggested that investment should be made towards battery recycling facilities in the UK.
According to Lady Parminter, who is leading the investigation, it is clear that the government needs to take further action to encourage people to use electric vehicles. If they do not listen to our suggestions, the UK will not experience the advantages of improved air quality and will fall behind in addressing climate change.
The authorities have been contacted for a statement.