We welcome yesterday’s Budget Statement which announced over a billion pounds in spending incentives to support the uptake of electric vehicles. However, we’d have liked to have seen a much stronger, well-rounded push to help promote electric vehicles, given that as a nation we are working towards stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.
We know that financial incentives are key in driving EV growth – to see this, look no further than countries like Norway and the Netherlands. Last year, when I visited Oslo, pretty much every other car I saw was a Tesla. Everyone knows that we’re already past tipping point and that EVs represent the future of mobility.
Yesterday, the government announced that it will continue funding for the electric vehicle Plug-in Grant through to 2023; good news for drivers looking to switch. However, the vehicle allowance has been slashed by £500, from £3,500 to £3,000, and the Grant has been scrapped altogether for anyone purchasing a vehicle costing more than £50,000. Clearly, this will go some way to ensuring that the grant is more sustainable long term – and many will argue that if you’re spending over £50,000 on a car you don’t really the assistance – but I believe any erosion to incentives at this crucial stage, is a step in the wrong direction.
Beyond the cost of the car, we know the other major challenge for EV owners is the availability of infrastructure. Yesterday’s budget placed an overwhelming focus on investment in rapid chargers, particularly in the workplace, which presents a rather narrow view of the overall charging landscape.
Fast charging was largely ignored, despite overwhelming evidence in support of home charging. We know that 90% of EV drivers charge overnight at home, and our customers tell us that they enjoy home charging because it’s convenient, reliable and they can control how much it costs them. We receive calls every single day asking about the OZEV grant, and our customers are keen to understand whether home charging will remain a priority for this Government.
We’re certain that enabling seamless, pain-free fast charging at home is critical in encouraging drivers to make the switch to electric. So Chancellor, let’s #budget for home charging and reward those who are driving the change we need.