Plug-in hybrid cars will play an important role in the development of the electric vehicle (EV) market, a committee of MPs has been told.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee is carrying out an inquiry into electric vehicles and heard evidence from Mark Squires, chairman of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

He presented his evidence and responded to questions from the MPs alongside representatives from Tesla, the RAC Foundation and the Energy Saving Trust.

The inquiry is exploring the role of electric vehicles in the transition to a low carbon economy. It is looking into the actions needed to support the development of the new and used EV market, the main barriers currently impeding its growth, and the effectiveness of current policies.

Squires said: “Concerns surrounding battery range, access to charging points and cost represent the three most significant barriers to the development of the electric vehicle market.”

He added: “The second-hand car market is key. Although there has been a gradual rise in vehicles sold and NFDA dealer members report growing interest from the consumer, the used electric vehicle market is still in its infancy.

“Plug-in hybrids have a very important role, not only as they currently help alleviate some of the issues, such as range anxiety, but also because they will encourage consumers to feel more comfortable in switching to alternatively fuelled vehicles. Going forward, price parity between electric vehicles and conventional diesel and petrol cars will represent a tipping point.

“We are pleased that the Government engaged with NFDA to understand automotive retailers’ views on the issue. We will continue to urge them to support the industry in establishing a realistic and practical approach which reflects consumer demand.”