AA urges EV clarity from government

The AA has welcomed the £35m pledged by the government to increase the use of electric vehicles but says there are still some mixed messages.

The government has pledged to increase the EV charging infrastructure in the UK, but this follows last year’s decision to reduce the grant towards a new 100% electric vehicle from £5,000 to £4,500.

AA president Edmund King said, ‘We have seen a reduction in the maximum grant and next April car tax bands change. Zero-emission vehicles costing less than £40,000 will be the only vehicles to benefit from zero tax, but those costing more than that will be subject to a £310 annual levy for five years.

‘We encourage the government to maintain the existing £500 grant towards a home charging point and keep road tax at zero for all zero-emission cars, regardless of their cost.’

King also said that he didn’t believe that the DEFRA plan to develop electric vehicle-only lanes or other priorities proposals such as priority EV lanes at traffic lights was the right way forward.

He continued, ‘These may offer benefits for EV drivers but have potential to increase congestion and thus emissions in city centres, although allowing them to use bus lanes may be a short term solution.

‘Far better to concentrate on expanding the charging network which will encourage EV take-up and which is one of the key factors that put potential users off. I would also urge the government to explore development of induction charging systems which automatically charge car batteries when a car is parked over the charging pad on the road surface.

‘This is a safe and proven system that has potential for significantly simplifying vehicle charging at places where cars might be stopped for even a short time such as at on-street parking places and supermarkets, eliminating the need for plugging in a cable.’