Industry responds to government EV inquiry

The industry has responded to the House of Lords Climate Change Committee’s electric vehicle inquiry, which is seeking to understand how the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel can be achieved.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), NFDA and IMI have all submitted responses, which will be considered as the government considers the challenges to EV uptake.

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the PRA, said: “The PRA is supportive of the need to decarbonise the economy and achieve Net Zero, but we are increasingly sceptical of the country’s ability to do so in the defined time period given that certain targets are not being met.

“Retailers need more clarity concerning timeframes and how realistically they can be achieved, given how far behind we are on our infrastructure targets. PRA members support decarbonisation but recognise the need for more realistic interim measures that would gauge our progress towards it.”

Meanwhile, the IMI has emphasised the need for upskilling.

Hayley Pells, policy and public affairs lead of the IMI, said: “The response from the IMI is based on the professional body’s specific focus on skills, and the unintended consequences of a possible trust deficit between automotive sector professionals and the government should the deadline be moved.

“Policies like the ‘Electricity at Work Regulation’ and the emphasis on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) have set high standards. However, if the anticipated growth in the EV sector doesn’t materialise, professionals may find their skills underutilised, leading to potential career stagnation. The obligation to CPD also places a financial strain on the skilled community without the anticipated ROI to support it. If the dates are extended, government would need to consider how this obligation could be borne by the skilled professional community.”

The NFDA meanwhile has revealed that its own survey identified a lack of charging infrastructure as the key obstacle to EV uptake, with 87% of franchised dealers saying it is affecting the deadline a ‘great deal’.

Further, 65% said EV costs are affecting the deadline.