The head of the CBI has called for the formation of a single regulator to oversee development of electric vehicle chargers across the UK.

Speaking at the BP/CharIN Powering the Charge Conference at BP, CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: “Today, if you want to install an electric vehicle charge point, you must deal with multiple regulators and agencies – Ofgem, the local planning authority, the National Grid – each of which has different standards, different levels of responsiveness, operating under different legislation.

“It’s a complex picture and it’s already having consequences. We have 22,000 charge points across the country, but the spread is inconsistent as one area pulls ahead of another.

“There might be an opportunity here to consolidate some of that variation, to create national oversight and perhaps to nominate a single regulator companies must deal with. It might mean taking powers from one place and putting them somewhere else.

“But if it would help, and if this challenge is as great as we believe it to be, there’s surely a compelling case for change.”

Fairbairn also suggested that with a transition as fundamental as from fossil fuels to electric vehicles politicians needed to put aside adversarial politics and develop a consensus.”

She explained: “The political debate on climate change is over. But the debate over the response is not. On the mechanism, we’re open-minded.

“It could be something as defined and prescribed as a new, cross-party commission on the energy transition. Or as simple and as indefinable as a new attitude in parliament.

“If we get this right, it could deliver the main thing that business needs above all else – long-term certainty for investment.”

“Our task now is to make the electrification of transport one of the liberating forces of the 21st Century. Retaining the advantages of hydrocarbon fuels and their power to move people and products, but doing so in a way that is cleaner, safer and more efficient.”