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Labour: UK has only 15% of electric vehicle charging points it needs to meet climate targets

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The UK has only 15 per cent of the charging points it needs to meet the country’s climate target, according to analysis by the Labour party.

Labour has warned of a “gulf emerging” between people who can access the benefits of the transition to electric vehicles and those who will be locked out – because of the patchy access to charging points across the country and the upfront price of vehicles.

According to the Committee on Climate Change, there need to be around 150,000 public charge points operating in Britain by 2025 and these should be “widely available across the UK”.

However, there are currently only 22,790 public charging points – meaning more than 127,000 must be installed in just the next few years.

Labour pointed out that it is currently more difficult to drive an electric car in the North and Midlands than it is in London or the South because of the “serious disparity” in the number of charging points. The latest official figures show you are currently four times more likely to find a charging point in London than in Yorkshire.

Labour said it welcomed the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 but is concerned about their failure to outline how they will support Britain’s car industry, and make electric vehicles affordable for all.

Ed Miliband, shadow business secretary, said: “It’s right to be setting 2030 as the phase-out date for new petrol and diesel cars but government is just not providing the support, strategy and leadership to make this transition the boost for jobs it should be and fair for consumers.

“The Government’s failure to roll out charging points across the country and the decision to cut the plug-in grant risks baking in unfairness in our country as we move towards a zero emission future.

“For the minicab driver who relies on their car for work and is thinking the price of an electric car is simply out of their reach. For the commuter who relies on their car but is also worried about being priced out. For those in rural areas, the Midlands and the North where you may not be able to access a charging point.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The UK has over 23,800 public charging points including 4,450 rapid devices, one of the largest networks of rapids in Europe.

“We are working closely with local authorities to rollout the electric vehicle revolution, with £1.3bn investment for electric vehicle infrastructure which will support drivers across the country.”