Transport minister outlines vision for low emission cars

Andrew Jones tells Chargemaster Electric Vehicle event that government is keen to see more councils adopt electric vehicle charge points

Adoption of electric vehicles is close to a ‘tipping point’ in the UK, and the technology could become as widely used as the internet a government minister has claimed.

Andrew Jones — the Under Secretary for Transport — made the comments at the Chargemaster vehicle charging event in Bayswater, central London yesterday (21 January), where he claimed that sales of electric vehicles are ‘rocketing’.

The UK has signed an international pledge for all passenger cars to be zero emission by 2050

The UK has signed an international pledge for all passenger cars to be zero emission by 2050

He said: “Plug-in vehicle registrations reached a record high in 2015, as 28,188 new ULEVs arrived on UK roads, more than the past 5 years’ totals rolled into one.

“The UK now has the most comprehensive rapid chargepoint network in Europe, and home-grown companies such as Chargemaster are making the UK’s ULEV industry a private sector success story.”

Commenting on the takeup of the technology, Mr Jones said that its growth reminded him of that of the internet, which began as a ‘niche interest’ but is now ever-present in modern life.

“I think we are seeing a similar picture emerging for ultra low emission vehicles in Britain today,” he added.

The minister also stated that around 50,000 claims for the government’s plug in grant scheme claims have been made since 2011, which is designed to support the development of electric vehicle infrastructure. A £400 million extension to the scheme was announced in December — which it is hoped could double the number of grants issued by the government to support ultra low emission vehicles (see story).

Transport minister Andrew Jones

Transport minister Andrew Jones

He added: “We are continuing the highly valued home charge scheme under which home-owners can receive a grant for most of the cost of installing a home chargepoint.

“And we are working with local authorities to increase numbers of on-street chargers for owners who don’t have off-street parking.

“By 2050, we want virtually every car and van on the road to be zero emission.”


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