Electric car charging prices ‘must be fair’ say MPs

People must be protected from excessive pricing for public electric car charging, MPs have said.

Charging an electric car at home is much cheaper than using public charge points.

This could put pressure on people who are less able to afford it, the Transport Select Committee said.

The government also needs to make charging infrastructure accessible and reliable, and make sure people in rural areas have equal access, the MPs added.

The UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and hybrids by 2035.

That should mean that most cars on the road in 2050 are either electric, use hydrogen fuel cells, or some other non-fossil fuel technology.

However, at present there is a disparity between how much it costs to charge a car at home compared to public charging, which is more expensive.

Consumers need to be protected from excessive charges, the Transport Committee said.

Property developers should also be required to provide public charging points, and councils should make sure charging infrastructure is built, the MPs added.

“Charging electric vehicles should be convenient, straightforward and inexpensive and drivers must not be disadvantaged by where they live or how they charge their vehicles,” said committee chair Huw Merriman.

In addition, drivers who live in rural or remote areas or who do not have off-street parking “risk being left behind”, the committee said.

The committee said industry must use pricing “to change consumer charging behaviour to a ‘little but often’ approach and at times when the National Grid can meet total demand”.

Graeme Cooper, head of future markets at National Grid, said that the energy network operator was “working with government to map out where critical grid capacity is needed to enable the faster roll out of charging points”.

“There will be an uptick in demand for energy so we need to ensure that we are future proofing, putting the right wires in the right place for future demand.”

He said National Grid would have to ramp up capacity to help achieve the UK’s net zero goals, both by making it smarter, but also putting in more physical infrastructure.

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