What Can I ask my MP to do to support Electric Vehicles?
It is always beneficial to start your conversation with your MP by addressing the positive areas of the government’s plans for EVs. You may then choose to speak to your MP about some of the following:
You could talk to your MP about providing exemptions for EV owners. For example, in Norway owners of EVs are not charged for using toll roads, ferries or municipal parking and have access to bus lanes (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, 2016). As a result, it is estimated that 30% of vehicles on Norwegian roads are EVs, compared to 4.4% in the UK.
Norway’s ban on conventional vehicle sales starts in 2025, and India, China, Slovenia, Austria, Israel, Ireland and Holland are all committed to a 2030 ban. Scotland’s ban starts in 2032. The current UK timescale is 2040. You could talk to your MP about the ambition needed for UK to maintain their position as a leader in tackling climate change.
There is a need to improve the charging point infrastructure in the UK. Now that the Road to Zero strategy has announced plans for increased EV infrastructure investment, you could discuss with your MP what measures are being taken to provide more charging points in the local area.
You can raise the importance of revising the Road to Zero Strategy to include a ban on the sale of conventional vans as well as cars from 2040. This is especially important given that emissions from vans are growing faster than those from any other form of transport (CCC).
Road to Zero sets out an intention to review the take-up of EVs in 2025. The CCC warns that this is too late to put measures in place if insufficient progress is being made. You could ask your MP to raise these concerns with the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling.
The Road to Zero strategy has a large focus on cars and has no mention of switching to other modes of transport. There are currently 38 million cars on our roads. Only 3% of commuters currently cycle to work (2011 figures). Research shows major health benefits to cycle commuters such as a 50% reduction in the chance of heart disease, therefore reducing pressure on the NHS. If your MP is interested in the economic benefits of the green economy, you can talk about the importance of widening the RTZ strategy to include forms of active travel in reducing the costs to the healthcare system.
As mentioned above, the government is planning to scrap the Plug-in Grant. This policy has supported the take up of 160 000 electric vehicles. You could talk to your MP about how damaging the cuts to the Plug-in Grant will be to the EV industry and, in particular, you could point out how it undermines the UK’s industrial strategy and ‘Road to Zero’ strategy. You could ask your MP to ask a parliamentary question to the Secretary of State for Transport about this policy change.
Date published: 22/10/2018
Last updated: 22/10/2018