A Parliamentary Bill which will force “large fuel retailers” to provide charging for electric vehicles has had its third reading in the House of Commons and been passed to the Lords for consideration, but what constitutes a “large fuel retailer” has still not been clarified.
During the debate transport minister Jesse Norman said: “We want people across the country to have the opportunity to make the transition to buying and using an electric vehicle. The vast majority of electric vehicle drivers choose to charge their car at home overnight, but appropriate and adequate provision of public charging is still vital to supporting thousands more electric vehicles.”
However he rejected calls to give the secretary of state powers to require other public facilities such as supermarkets and car parks to provide electric charging.
He said: “Further to our consultation, we have suggested that it would be more appropriate to mandate provision at sites, such as fuel retailers and service areas, that are already invested in providing services related to vehicle refuelling. By that means, we can address concerns about range anxiety without placing regulation on others that might be unnecessarily burdensome and expensive to comply with.”
The minister also confirmed the Government intends to publish an updated strategy for promoting the uptake of all electric vehicles by the end of March.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This important debate on providing the right locations for electric vehicle charging points is progressing, but we remain concerned about the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill as it stands.
“We still want to see more clarity on the face of the Bill to provide large fuel retailers with assurances that they won’t be forced to provide charging points in places where they’re not appropriate or necessary for that location.
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to develop an updated strategy looking at the uptake of electric vehicles across the UK, and will work with them to provide further information about the potential impact that this could have on the forecourt sector.”
The Bill now passes to the House of Lords for further scrutiny and is due to receive its second reading on February 20.