The PRA has taken a second opportunity in a week to tell MPs that forecourts should not be forced to install electric chargers.

Just days after PRA chairman Brian Madderson addressed MPs scrutinising the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, the PRA has provided evidence to an inquiry into electric charging infrastructure being conducted by the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

In its submission the PRA called for a market-led development of the market, rather than the method prescribed in the Bill with government forcing businesses to install equipment, and the threat of sanctions if they do not comply.

PRA said its members were keen to invest in viable alternative fuel provisions such as electric charge points, but costs were currently prohibitive and the government should be exploring ways to incentivise the uptake of charging points.

It said some PRA members had been quoted as much as £50,000 to install charging equipment, but with electric vehicles only making up 1.1% of electric vehicles on the road, the required return on that investment was not currently possible.

It also pointed out that the technology was developing rapidly, with charging times falling rapidly and a lack of standardisation in equipment, meaning businesses would need to judge when the time was right to enter the market.

Citing the way PRA members had adapted to a changing market by moving into convenience retailing, it concluded: “PRA members have demonstrated an ability to pinpoint the appropriate time to enter a specific market.

“There is no reason to suggest the uptake of EV charging infrastructure by these businesses will be any different.”

“PRA believes that government intervention should not dictate businesses entry into the market, but that it should trust fuel retailers to invest in charging infrastructure when the technology has developed to an appropriate level of commercialisation.”