The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) welcomed the government’s plans to roll out the use of electric vehicles nationwide, but want more to be done to create “a truly national charging network.”
Responsible for providing advice to the government surrounding the infrastructure challenges facing the United Kingdom, the NIC’s reaction was in response to the measures outlined by the Prime Minister at the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Summit.
The summit in Birmingham – the first of its kind in this country – allowed Theresa May to highlight her “ambitious mission” to place the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles.
As part of the commitments outlined, a £106 million funding boost was unveiled for the research and development of green vehicles, new batteries and low carbon technology.
In addition, a multi-million pound investment to increase the number of charging points in electric vehicles was also confirmed.
However, the NIC believe its own National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA), published in July, highlights the steps that the government must take in order to ensure the charging network is “truly national.”
In the NIA, the Commission proposes that government subsidies should be introduced in order to provide charging points in instances where the private sector will not deliver in the short term.
Councils should also allocate a portion of their parking spaces so that electric vehicle charging points can be installed; this should include some on-street parking, according to the NIC.
In response to the government’s plans laid out at the Summit, a spokesperson from the Commission said: “We welcome the announcement of £200 million in smart charging stations, which will help encourage drivers to consider making the switch from petrol and diesel to electric cars.
“But for a truly national and visible charging network, our National Infrastructure Assessment also makes clear the need for government investment in delivering charging points across the country, and for councils to allocate a portion of their parking spaces to be ready for charging points.”