Make petrol station EV chargers and all-electric government fleets mandatory, report says
05 February 2021
Author: Sean Keywood
All petrol stations above a certain size should be made to have at least three electric vehicle rapid chargers by 2023, and all government fleet purchases should now be electric, according to a new report.
'Driving uptake: Maturing the market for battery electric vehicles', published by the think tank Bright Blue, argues that to meet its targets of abolishing new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030, and having net-zero emissions by 2050, the UK can and must do more to support the uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The report says policymakers face a choice between using regulatory and fiscal measures to drive BEV uptake, and between focusing on new or used BEVs, and in both cases it concludes that both options should be pursued.
It says that while a regulatory approach should provide the foundations for long-term BEV adoption, an 'ambitious fiscal approach' will still be required to catalyse adoption in the short term.
The installation of petrol station chargers is one regulatory policy it suggests, for which it says funding should be split between petroleum companies and the UK Government. It says this would reassure drivers that they could charge their electric car almost wherever they had previously filled a petrol or diesel car, alleviating range anxiety.
As for making it mandatory for all new government fleet purchases to be BEVs, including both central government and local councils, which it says should be done immediately, the report argues that while initial purchase costs would be higher, authorities would benefit from lower lifetime costs, and that these vehicles when defleeted would boost the used market
One of the fiscal policies the report recommends is to enable enhanced capital allowances for businesses which purchase zero emission vehicles for the purpose of renting and leasing them. It says this would have a major impact given the size of the rental and leasing sector, would save customers money, and would also have the second-hand trickle-down effect.
Other fiscal policies recommended by the report include front-loading the value of the plug- in car grant so it equals £5,000 from April this year, and then gradually reducing its value in regular intervals before phasing it out completely from October 2023.
Another is to establish a version of the grant for used cars, worth at least £2,000, to support BEV adoption from people with lower incomes.
As for regulatory policies, the report says the government should introduce an obligation on all local authorities to install on-street electric vehicle charge points within three months when requested by residents, unless there are reasonable grounds for objecting.
The report also says interoperability should be a condition of government charge point funding, and that the inclusion of estimated lifetime costs should be mandatory for all used as well as new vehicle sales alongside the retail upfront price.