We have a range of grant schemes to support the installation of charging infrastructure—on-street, off-street and at workplaces. At the autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced a £400 million joint public and private charging infrastructure investment fund.
My constituency is already home to the new electric London taxi, and we have recently heard the announcement of £80 million of investment in a new electric battery development facility in Coventry. Does the Minister agree that this presents opportunities for my constituency and the wider area to establish leadership in the electric vehicles sector?
It certainly does, and I have had the honour of visiting my hon. Friend’s constituency. On the day we announced the battery facility he mentions, the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover declared:
“We also intend to produce battery electric vehicles in the region, bringing the West Midlands to the forefront of modern mobility in the UK.”
That is the industrial strategy in action.
Chichester District Council has invested in 20 new electric vehicle charging points in carparks throughout the district. However, a constituent recently told me that it took him six and a half hours to get from Chichester to Oxford in his electric car because there were insufficient charging points during the journey. What is the Minister doing to join up individual council initiatives to ensure that there is a comprehensive network of charging points nationwide?
We are pressing hard on this. The Government are taking powers under the Automated and Electric Vehicle Bill to ensure that the infrastructure is rolled out. Government leadership, along with local authority engagement and a growing private sector, means that the UK now has more than 11,500 publicly accessible charge points. The Government have committed £15 million to ensuring that there will be one every 20 miles on the strategic road network. That is coming, and it will be coming soon.