The Prime Minister has pledged to consult on law change plans to ensure that drivers have fair access to electric vehicle chargers as the UK reaches a significant milestone.
Speaking at the final Prime Minister’s Questions of the year, Rishi Sunak responded to questions about the potential for new rules affecting electric car owners.
Stephen Hammond spoke in the Commons to ask the Prime Minister for new law changes to expand electric vehicle charging access.
The Conservative MP for Wimbledon highlighted how the COP28 climate conference had agreed to slow the rate of climate change and introduce new laws to reach net zero.
He added that the people of Wimbledon were keen to do their bit to support the move to net zero and accelerate the uptake of EVs.
Stephen Hammond said: “To help my campaign to make EV charging access more widespread, can I ask my right honourable friend for two early Christmas presents?
“Will he speak to our right honourable friend the Chancellor to ask him to look again at the unfair differential rates of VAT on public and private charging points?
“And will he ask our right honourable friend the Levelling Up Secretary to look at the bylaws that stop local councils making on-street parking and charging more accessible?”
Currently, public chargers attract a VAT rate of 20 per cent, compared to a five per cent rate for home chargers, something which experts believe is putting drivers off from switching.
In response to the question, the Prime Minister praised the Government’s response to the need for more electric vehicles and its infrastructure.
He highlighted the Chancellor’s £2billion investment into the sector to support the transition to zero emission vehicles.
Rishi Sunak said: “I can also tell him that we will consult on amending the National Planning Policy Framework to make sure that it prioritises the rollout of charge points.
“[This is] on top of the funding of almost £400million to support local authorities, spread these out so all our families have access to them when they need.”
The Prime Minister also highlighted how the Government had been pushing ahead with the EV network, installing more than 50,000 chargers across the UK.
The Government has confirmed that it is on target to install 300,000 public EV chargers by the end of the decade.
Data from Zapmap shows there are 44 per cent more public charge points than this time last year, with the Government continuing to invest in EVs.
Anthony Browne, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, heralded the “incredible” progress of installing the chargers around the UK.
He added: “Passing 50,000 public charge points is a key milestone in our journey to zero emission driving and shows the incredible progress we’ve made to provide the infrastructure for drivers to go electric.
There are more than 53,000 EV chargers around the UK
“With Government and private sector investment, we are backing drivers by expanding our charging network – creating jobs and putting us well on the way to our target of 300,000 public charge points by 2030.”
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister announced changes to the law banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, moving the deadline from 2030 to 2035 and in line with the likes of Canada, France and Germany.