The UK’s electric vehicle (EV) industry is growing year on year, with record levels of drivers making or hoping to make the switch to EVs. With EV adoption rising 291% over the past two years, the registration of the one millionth plug-in vehicle this October demonstrates growing enthusiasm for zero-emission driving in the UK.
Political actors are helping to promote EV uptake, as seen most clearly in the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 as part of its transport decarbonisation strategy. Labour leader Keir Starmer also called to make the UK the leading nation for EVs at his Conference speech this September.
For the EV transition to succeed, all drivers of all backgrounds must feel able and confident to make the switch. Yet right now, electric vehicles seem to be the preserve of wealthy, early adopters. While ambitious, the Government’s targets won’t be achieved without the right policies, policies which promote investment into EV infrastructure and ensure EVs are affordable and accessible to all.
FairCharge: the campaign for electric vehicles
FairCharge is the national campaign to accelerate the UK’s transition to electric vehicles and ensure this move is fair for drivers of all backgrounds, rural and urban, with and without driveways. Alongside our founder, Quentin Willson, we want to make charging costs fair, EVs affordable, and educate the public and policymakers about why this is all so vital.
Right now, consumers are disadvantaged by illogical government policies, such as the VAT discrepancy between the 20% rate for public EV charging, compared to the 5% rate for off-street charging. This discrepancy is the result of VAT legislation drafted long before electric vehicles were prevalent on UK roads, and we strongly feel that drivers should not be punished by paying more to charge their cars simply because they don’t have a driveway. These are often lower-income drivers living in terraced housing, flats and apartment blocks.
Research also tells us that higher upfront costs are the number one concern deterring potential new EV buyers. The cost-of-living crisis further threatens to dampen the rollout of EVs, leaving households with less disposable income and fears that EV charging could become as or more expensive than petrol or diesel on the public charging network. Now, more than ever, it is vital that the Government puts in place policies to keep the EV transition on track.
Why we need your help…
The EV transition is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Britain, for job creation and for cheaper and cleaner transport. EVs hold the key to cleaner air in our towns and city centres, for more affordable travel, and for energy security too. While the Government has been supportive of the transition to electric vehicles, political instability and the cost-of-living crisis means that more must be done to ensure the Government sticks to its climate targets and acts firmly to progress the EV transition.
By supporting our campaign, you can help to spread awareness of the importance of EVs, the barriers to EV uptake and the steps Government could and should take to help more people to make the all-important switch.
If you would like to get involved, please do sign our change.org petition here and join the 80,000 other people calling on Government to make EVs fair and affordable. You can even email your MP using our easy-to-use template here to let them know that this is an issue that matters to you. The more people talk about this – the more politicians will take notice.
Every voice in the push towards electrification matters, we hope you will be able to join us!