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More needs to be done to incentivise drivers to choose cleaner vehicles

News   •   Mar 15, 2018 00:01 GMT

Commenting on the joint select committee report published today which examines the Government's air quality plans, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:

"The Government's longer term ambition to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles should be matched by a shorter term one which does more to incentivise drivers to choose cleaner alternatives.

"With the latest figures showing a drop in the number of electric cars being sold in the UK at the start of this year compared to 2017, now is the time to ask whether incentives such as the plug-in grant scheme are doing enough to change drivers' buying habits. The Government may need to be far more radical by looking at VAT on sales of zero-emission vehicles.

"There is also a lot of work to be done to demonstrate that the country is ready for a new era of cleaner vehicles. While manufacturers have committed to selling many more hybrid and pure electric models which will help bring the price of these down, this needs to be backed by the right infrastructure - such as the availability of more high-speed charging infrastructure which can help allay drivers' range anxiety. It should also look at key areas such as on-street charging for residents, and at destination points such as car parks where drivers are likely to leave their vehicles for longer periods. A combination of competitive up-front vehicle costs and confidence in the charging infrastructure should provide the tipping point for a transition to zero-emission vehicles.”