20.9.2012 Select Committee criticises EV policy
The Transport Select Committee today released a report criticising the Govt’s plug-in vehicle strategy as ineffective and questioning why the official National Charge Point Registry is incomplete.
The a new report from the Transport Select Committee focuses on the Government’s plug-in vehicle strategy and assess its effectiveness in supporting the sales of electric vehicles in the UK.
Louise Ellman MP, the Committee’s Chair, warned: “The Government must do more to show that its plug-in vehicle strategy is a good use of public money. Carbon emissions from transport must be reduced if the UK is to meet its climate change targets, but public money must be targeted on effective policies.
"So far, Department for Transport expenditure on plug-in cars – some £11 million – has benefited just a handful of motorists. We were warned of the risk that the Government is subsidising second cars for affluent households; currently plug-in electric cars are mostly being purchased as second cars for town driving.
"It is also unclear whether the provision of public charging infrastructure encourages demand for plug-in cars. Indeed, the Government does not even have a register of all the charge points installed at public expense.
"Ministers should not sit back and hope that the Government’s policy on plug-in cars will reduce transport carbon emissions. Far more work is required to ensure that this programme is a good use of public funds."
In summary, the Committee recommends that:
* The Department for Transport should clarify the reasons for the under spend in its low carbon vehicle programme.
* As part of the next spending review, the Government should set milestones for the numbers of plug-in cars it expects to see on the roads so that the success of its low carbon vehicles strategy can be assessed within that spending review period.
* The DfT should evaluate how effectively the provision of public infrastructure is encouraging consumer demand for plug-in vehicles.
The report also questions why the National Charge Point Registry remains incomplete not even showing all the publicly funded Plugged-in Places (PiP) points. The Committee recommends that it should be a requirement of PiP funding that details of all charge points installed using this funding be uploaded to the Registry.
Dr Ben Lane, Director of Next Green Car and originator of Zap-Map, the most comprehensive database of all public EV charging points in the UK agrees with much of this assessment stating: "While the Government have funded a database to record all publically funded EV charging points, this only displays 521 charging locations, whereas Next Green Car’s Zap-Map displays 1,133 locations with a total of 2,920 charging points.
"Although we understand that systems take time to develop, as an independent, we have already achieved far more than the publicly funded project. It is our aim to continue to provide quality and easy-to-use information for EV users. We are already planning new developments on our free-to-use site which will be rolled out over the coming months."
Latest Zap-Map info: currently displays 1,707 slow 3-pin charging points, 1,136 faster 32A charging points and 77 rapid DC chargers.
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