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Government strategy to mandate electric vehicle charging points at new-builds

Charging stations for electric vehicles could become mandatory for new homes under plans from the Transport Secretary to ease the UK’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

Chris Grayling will unveil the proposals as part of the government’s Road to Zero Strategy which will include more money to fund charging infrastructure and the need to assess whether new homes and offices should be required to install charge points as standard.

The new strategy comes at a time when the government is facing criticism from climate campaigners for failing to tackle the UK’s carbon emissions in light of the 2015 signing of the Paris Agreement.

Last week one group launched a campaign to sue the government over its climate change actions, arguing that it is discriminating against the young by failing to cut emissions fast enough.

The Road to Zero Strategy calls for new street lighting columns on UK roads with on-street parking to have charging points in appropriate locations.

The government is also expected to outline more details of its ban on sales of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040. 

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles such as hybrids and pure electrics held just 5.5 per cent of the UK’s new car market in the first six months of the year, compared with 4.2 per cent during the same period in 2017.

While launching the plans  Grayling will say: “The Road to Zero Strategy, combined with the measures we’ve already introduced, will mean Britain now has one of the most comprehensive support packages for zero-emission vehicles in the world.

“We want the UK to become the best country in the world in which to develop and manufacture zero-emission vehicles.

“The prize is not just a cleaner and healthier environment but a UK economy fit for the future and the chance to win a substantial slice of a market estimated to be worth up to £7.6tn by 2050.”

A study for motoring research charity the RAC Foundation found that growth in electric car use could be stalled by limitations in the public charging network.

Some localised efforts are being made such as the rollout of a network of rapid charging points across London in March and last week’s purchase of Chargemaster by BP.

But the mass market appeal of ultra-green vehicles may be restricted without widespread, reliable and easy-to-use charging points, the report warned.

Separate AA research shows that eight out of 10 drivers see the lack of charging points as a stumbling block for them to buy an electric vehicle.

The motoring firm’s president Edmund King said: “A big push on a range of slow, fast and rapid charging points should help overcome this hurdle.

“The challenge is then for manufacturers to make a car worth buying. These Road to Vision Zero proposals are a step in the right direction but there is still much to do to wean drivers off petrol and diesel cars.”

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