Thursday, November 25, 2021

The Green Transition - Poor Neglected Again

 The government's plan to mandate electric car chargers across all new homes in England from next year risks making access to charge points “exclusive”, leaving behind motorists from poorer areas, industry leaders have warned.

Senior figures in the energy and motoring sectors said the plan for all new homes and buildings to be fitted with car charging infrastructure risks benefiting wealthier areas with space for off-street parking and leaving “blackspots” in areas where homes have less space. Guy Jefferson, the chief operating officer of Scottish Power’s energy network business, warned that the burgeoning electric vehicle market was “less likely to provide for all in our society” without deliberate action to ensure a fair energy transition.

“It’s essential that [electric vehicle] chargers are available not just in new homes, private driveways, wealthy high streets and motorway service stations, but in remote, rural and socially disadvantaged areas too,” Jefferson said.

Ross Easton, a director at the Energy Networks Association, added that the government “must make sure access to charging points is not exclusive”.

“Charging points must be accessible to everyone. To truly ‘level up’ charging point access and deliver on the Cop26 electric vehicle pledges requires strategic planning at all levels of government, nationally and locally,” he said.

Many modern homes do not have car parking spaces, and the number of new homes built each year in the UK is so small it would take decades to make much difference by this measure alone, according to industry sources.

Sarah Winward-Kotecha, the director of electric vehicles at RAC, said it was “important to remember that a lot of new housing stock, especially in cities, doesn’t even come with any car parking at all, let alone provision for electric charge points”.

Two-thirds of local authorities in the UK had no plans for public charging points. More than half said they were prohibitively expensive, and more than a third cited other constraints such as a lack of energy network capacity.

Plan for car chargers in all new homes in England ‘will make access exclusive’ | Automotive industry | The Guardian

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