MPs to investigate low take-up of British battery powered vehicles (BPVs)

'Re-charging lottery' is one of the reasons holding back roll-out of BPV sales.
‘Re-charging lottery’ is one of the reasons holding back roll-out of BPV sales.

The role of battery power vehicles (BPVs) in the transition to a low carbon economy and as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy will be investigated by MPs on the Westminster Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee in a new inquiry launched today.

MPs will examine barriers to the market’s development and the support it needs to progress and consider how the Government can optimise BPVs as part of a strong industrial strategy.

They will also look at charging infrastructure as well as purchase costs and incentives to increase BPV sales.

The Government’s road transport decarbonisation strategy and its ability to respond to potentially disruptive shifts in the market, such as the emergence of driverless cars, will also be scrutinised.

The inquiry will cover all electric road vehicles, including buses, HGVs, cars, motorcycles and vans.

Iain Wright MP, Committee Chairman, said: “If the UK is to meet its decarbonisation goals and move successfully to a prosperous low carbon economy, then a thriving BPV market is vital.

“Our inquiry will follow on closely from our recent investigation into Industrial Strategy.  Its focus is to assess how the Government’s approach to ‘picking winners’, in this case electric vehicles, can best exploit the opportunities arising from this technology as a means of enhancing the strengths of the UK automotive industry as well as moving to a low carbon economy. 

 It will take a close look at the factors holding back the electric car market and examine options for how it can be better supported.

“As a Committee we want to investigate concerns that BPV sales and roll-out are not as advanced as they should be and that people may be put off buying an electric car due to a postcode lottery of charging infrastructure, with the availability of charge points varying substantially across the country.”

The Scottish government’s draft Scottish Energy Strategy is virtually mute on the issue of BPVs.

See also:

Tories launch new Scottish Energy Strategy: free-parking for BPVs (battery powered vehicles): more solar and heat pump power: new nuclear and more energy efficiency to cut fuel-poverty

The Committee is inviting submissions on written evidence on the following issues by Thursday 13 April 2017 via the inquiry webpage:

  • What are the key barriers to development of the UK’s electric vehicle market?
  • Does the Government’s Industrial Strategy sufficiently address the challenges and opportunities for BPVs?
  • What support for purchase costs should the Government provide after 2018, in response to the changing costs of BPVs?
  • How best can the Government ensure that there is consistent provision of charging infrastructure across the country?
  • Is the Government’s road transport decarbonisation strategy sufficiently flexible to adapt to potentially disruptive market trends such as driverless cars? How might these impact requirements for, and use of, charging infrastructure?

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