New homes in England will have to be equipped with electric car charging points under Government proposals.
It also wants commercial premises and offices to get them as well as some new street lamps in certain areas to encourage the switch from petrol and diesel models under previously announced plans to phase them out in favour of hybrids by 2040.
The announcement today will put pressure on Welsh Government to speed up its declared aim of reducing carbon emissions in transport. It was effectively forced to introduce token lower speed limits along some M4 and A55 sections of roads and others when it lost High Court actions by environmentalists.
Its hydrogen highway strategy proposed a decade ago has also stalled.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said, “The electric vehicle revolution is coming and this strategy sets the framework for how the UK will be ready to benefit from it.
“Despite growing numbers of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, the overall proportion of sales are still low. The UK government needs to be bold in its steps to encourage as many drivers to opt for the green option as possible.
“Motorists’ concerns about the limited range offered by electric vehicles needs to be addressed head on – manufacturers have a role to play here, but so too does the government in ensuring the necessary rapid charge infrastructure exists.
“The incentives offered to drivers to buy a new, cleaner vehicle also needs to be looked at. Changes to the car tax system last year arguably made it less attractive to buy a plug-in hybrid vehicle – which is odd, given the government’s recognition that these vehicles are a crucial stepping stone to an all-electric vehicle.
“There is a strong argument for looking at new incentives to help make the purchase price as comparable to similar sized conventional equivalents – perhaps by way of a VAT discount or even an exemption on them.
“New charging technologies also have a big role to play – and it is pleasing to see the government has seen the role that street lights can play in offering charging infrastructure.”