COMMONS

Electric vehicles inquiry launched

16 March 2017

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launches an inquiry into the role of electric vehicles in the transition to a low-carbon economy and as part of the Government's Industrial Strategy.

Scope of the inquiry

In this short inquiry, the Committee examines barriers to the market's development and the support it needs to progress, and considers how the Government can optimise electric vehicles as part of a strong Industrial Strategy. MPs also look at charging infrastructure as well as purchase costs and incentives to increase electric vehicle sales.

The Government's road transport decarbonisation strategy and its ability to respond to potentially disruptive shifts in the market, such as the emergence of driverless cars, are also scrutinised. The inquiry covers all electric vehicles, including buses, HGVs, cars, motorcycles and vans.

Written submissions

The Committee is inviting submissions on written evidence on the following issues:

  • What are the key barriers to development of the UK's electric vehicle market?
  • Does the Government's Industrial Strategy sufficiently address the challenges and opportunities for electric vehicles?
  • What support for purchase costs should the Government provide after 2018, in response to the changing costs of electric vehicles?
  • How best can the Government ensure that there is consistent provision of charging infrastructure across the country?
  • Is the Government's road transport decarbonisation strategy sufficiently flexible to adapt to potentially disruptive market trends such as driverless cars? How might these impact requirements for, and use of, charging infrastructure?

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 13 April 2017.

Chair's comments

Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"If the UK is to meet its decarbonisation goals and move successfully to a prosperous low carbon economy, then a thriving electric vehicles market is vital.

Our inquiry will follow on closely from our recent investigation into Industrial Strategy. Its focus is to assess how the Government's approach to "picking winners", in this case electric vehicles, can best exploit the opportunities arising from this technology as a means of enhancing the strengths of the UK automotive industry as well as moving to a low carbon economy. It will take a close look at the factors holding back the electric car market and examine options for how it can be better supported.

As a Committee we want to investigate concerns that electric vehicle sales and roll-out are not as advanced as they should be and that people may be put off buying an electric car due to a postcode lottery of charging infrastructure, with the availability of charge points varying substantially across the country."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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