The government minister in charge of future transport planning has targeted doubling the number of electric vehicle rapid chargers available in the UK within the next four years as a key way of promoting the take-up of electric vehicles.
The Government has set the goal of phasing out the sales of pure petrol and diesel-engined cars by 2040 and is currently looking at whether that target can be brought forward. George Freeman MP, Department for Transport minister of state, believes that goal can only be met through both investment in infrastructure and efforts to change the public mindset on electric vehicles.
Speaking about how to meet those targets at the launch of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce report on the transition to electric cars, Freeman noted that there were more than 24,000 charging points in the UK and claimed the country was ahead of other European countries in installing fast chargers – but he said he wanted to see that number expand.
“By 2024, I’d like to more than double the number of rapid charge points to over 5000," he said. "That would give even more people across the country the chance to drive electric vehicles – and we need to think about a balance between following where the uptake [of electric cars] is and reassuring tomorrow’s purchasers that we’re building for them.”
Freeman said transitioning to EVs was a key component in reaching the UK’s target of net zero emissions, and it has become more pressing “because of the pace of climate change, and the pace of popular public opinion” on environmental issues.
“It’s clear to me the public want us to grip this coherently. People are prepared to make sacrifices, but they need to know those sacrifices will count towards a bigger global goal.”