At a Parliamentary debate on ending the sale of petrol and diesel powered vehicles, Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has criticised the failure to deliver sufficient charging points for the take up of new electric vehicles.
During the backbench debate last Thursday, MPs discussed the Government’s aspiration to have all new vehicles sold by 2040 to be zero-emission vehicles. Mark spoke about the opportunities and challenges faced by Rugby businesses in delivering this strategy, including the great work taking place at the London Electric Vehicle Company to deliver the new generation of electric black cabs – 2,000 of which are already on the streets of London. Mark also raised the work smaller businesses like Off-Grid Energy are doing to take advantage of the drive towards electric vehicles.
However, Mark was also critical of the slow pace of delivering electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the challenges arising from capacity in the National Grid. This is an area where local business Off-Grid Energy have found success, by creating innovative energy storage solutions to control and limit the peak load on the grid to enable large fleets of electric vehicles to be charged.
Mark also challenged the Minister responding to this debate – Andrew Stephenson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – about what more the Government could do to enable the National Grid to meet the demand that electric vehicles will require. Highlighting the case of the new service station at Junction 1 of the M1, Mark spoke about his concerns that due to challenges with the National Grid, only two of the proposed twenty-four electric vehicle charging points will be ready when the service station opens.
Speaking after the debate, Mark commented:
“The move towards electric vehicles is a great opportunity for consumers and businesses in Rugby. I’ve been really impressed with what I have heard and seen as a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee and from local businesses here in Rugby about how the UK can lead the way through our road to zero strategy. Companies such as Off-Grid Energy are identifying really clever solutions to the issues raised by electrification of the car market, but there are still serious issues which need resolving.”
“The new service station on the M1 would be an ideal place to charge an electric vehicle whilst commuting and so the lack of charging points is a real concern for me. I am keen to see more drivers adopt an electric car, but I know that charging infrastructure is a big concern for those looking to buy one. I have already spoken to both Moto, the operators of the service station, and to Ministers about how we can overcome this challenge and ensure that the National Grid has the capacity to deliver on the electric vehicle revolution.”