Have your say on the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

25 October 2017

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 31st October 2017; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 16th November 2017. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 16th November 2017.*

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill 2017 is intended to enable consumers in the UK to be amongst the first in the world to reap the rewards that improved transport technology will bring. The Bill will set the regulatory framework to enable the next wave of transport technology to be invented, designed, made and used in the UK.

The Bill comprises three Parts and contains one Schedule:

  • Part 1 makes provision in relation to automated vehicles.
  • Part 2 makes provision in relation to charging electric vehicles.
  • Part 3 makes general provision in respect of the Bill as a whole.
  • The Schedule contains minor and consequential amendments.

Insurance for automated vehicles

The application of ‘intelligence’ to cars is gathering pace and there is a strong push by manufacturers to develop automated vehicles which will drive themselves.  Currently, insurance law is driver-centric: all (human) drivers have to have insurance in order to provide compensation for third parties for personal injury or property damage due to a driving related incident. The Government’s view is that such principles need to be extended to cover automated vehicles when the car is the driver and the ‘driver’ is sometimes a passenger.

The intention behind the legislation is to emphasise that if there is an insurance ’event’ (accident) the compensation route for the individual remains within the motor insurance settlement framework, rather than through a product liability framework against a manufacturer.

The Government believes that answering the insurance questions sooner rather than later will encourage manufacturers to develop transport technology in the United Kingdom with the confidence that they can exploit market opportunities.

Electric vehicles

Since 2009 UK governments of all parties have sought to provide a framework in which electric vehicles, or ‘ultra low emission vehicles’ (ULEVs) can grow. The decarbonisation of both private cars and goods and passenger carrying vehicles is seen as critical to helping the UK achieve its climate change obligations and to improving air quality, particularly in cities such as London.

The measures in the Bill are intended to help deliver the aim in the Conservative Manifesto commitment for almost every car and van to be a zero emission vehicle by 2050. Taken together, the proposed powers would allow Government to regulate if necessary in the coming years, to improve the consumer experience of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to ensure provision at key strategic locations like Motorway Service Areas (MSAs), and to require that charge points have ‘smart’ capability.

The Bill extends to the whole of the UK with the exception of clauses 1 to 7 on insurance for automated vehicles, which extend only to Great Britain. For Part 2 (electric vehicle charging) a legislative consent motion is being sought from the Northern Ireland Assembly in respect of the application of these provisions in Northern Ireland.

Follow the progress of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill was presented to the House of Commons on 18 October 2017 and had its second reading debate on 23 October 2017.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which will hold its oral evidence sessions on Tuesday 31st October 2017. The Public Bill Committee must conclude by Thursday 16th November 2017.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration, and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 31st October 2017; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 16th November 2017. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 16th November 2017.

Your submission should be emailed to [email protected].

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here.

Image: iStockphoto

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