Responding to a parliamentary Business Committee report that, among other things, recommends the Government brings forward its plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“We understand the rationale behind wanting to bring forward the end of the sale of conventionally fuelled vehicles to 2032, but this would have to be matched with bold and decisive action from the Government that actually makes hitting the new date possible.
“There are still significant barriers that are putting drivers off alternatively fuelled vehicles – these include the upfront cost, access to charging infrastructure, and ease and time to charge a vehicle.
“Recent government announcements, in particular the recent decision to cut the plug-in car grant for alternative-fuelled vehicles, could have the unfortunate effect of discouraging motorists from opting for one. We think the Government should look again at this decision, given pure electric cars are too expensive for most people when compared to petrol or diesel equivalents. There is also an argument for reduced VAT rates on the sales of the cleanest vehicles to stimulate greater interest, alongside local policies such as free parking for owners of such vehicles.
“It is unfortunate that the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act for example, did not go further in requiring more locations to provide charging infrastructure. We would like to see a much more ambitious programme to roll out charging infrastructure in more locations, including within new housing developments, at shopping centre car parks and on-street.”