Stephen Morgan MP has called on the Government to take greater action to support drivers in Portsmouth and across the country transitioning to electric vehicles, who face challenges with the availability and speed of charging points.
It comes as all 98 of Portsmouth’s electric vehicle charging points have been closed over safety concerns regarding how they were connected, with no date specified by Portsmouth City Council on when they will be back in use and local people calling the handling of the issue ‘chaotic’.
Mr Morgan recently held a roundtable with constituents on electric vehicle use, to hear concerns from local residents about the availability and speed of charging points across the city and to take ideas and concerns back to Parliament.
Those who were interested in purchasing electric vehicles similarly expressed they lacked the confidence to make the switch. The city MP has now raised concerns with the Shadow Minister for Roads, discussing what actions should be taken by Labour in government to support electric vehicle drivers.
It follows the Government’s U-turn on net zero commitments which saw it scrap the 2030 deadline for sales of new combustion engine cars, leaving industry in limbo without clarity or support.
However, car makers can still expect to be fined in 2024 if they do not reach targets of 20% of cars sold to be zero emission models.
Mr Morgan said the Government’s shambolic handling of net zero has betrayed industry leaders working towards the transition to electric but now face further uncertainty over investment and a delay that could suppress demand for several years.
An incoming Labour Government has committed to accelerate the roll-out of charging points and give confidence to motorists to make the switch with binding targets for electric vehicle chargers.
- New charging targets, like carbon budgets to be binding on the government itself, who should assume overall accountability but delegate responsibility – tied to funding – to regional and local.
- The target will hold government to account and provide long-term signals and direction for public-private investment.
- Binding targets will give consumers certainty and confidence to switch to ZEVs, and give local areas the support and investment they need to do it.
Commenting, Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan said:
“Portsmouth people are concerned by the electric vehicle charging chaos we are seeing in our community in recent weeks and feel let down by the council. Drivers should be rewarded for making the transition to an electric vehicle – not held back by inadequate infrastructure.
“That’s why I am calling on Government to back a plan that will accelerate the rollout of charging points and give confidence to motorists to make the switch with binding targets for electric vehicle chargers.
“Inaction is not an option when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. The Government must cultivate a more appealing investment environment for industry leaders, as well as consumers, before it’s too late”.
Labour’s Shadow Minister for Roads, Bill Esterson MP said:
“The transition to electric vehicles is vital to our net zero targets and offers cheaper motoring through lower lifetime and annual driving costs.
Frustratingly, drivers wanting to benefit from the advantages of electric vehicles in Portsmouth and across the country have not been given the support or infrastructure they need.
“Under a Labour Government, this will change.
“Labour’s plan to turbocharge electric vehicle manufactoring will accelerate the roll-out of charging points and give confidence to motorists to make the switch with binding targets for electric vehicle chargers.”