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Electric Vehicles

Volume 738: debated on Thursday 26 October 2023

The Government are committed to accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Last year, 16% of new cars and around 6% of new vans sold were fully electric. To continue to support the uptake of zero-emission vehicles we are, as the House knows, introducing a world-leading zero-emission vehicle mandate. That will support the future supply of zero-emission vehicles by setting a minimum percentage of manufacturers’ new car and van sales to be zero-emission each year from 2024. I am delighted to say that this week we have laid the new public charge point regulations to facilitate charging for electric vehicles.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. As he knows, in South Derbyshire in the Toyota factory we have groundbreaking hydrogen technology, so I would ask, what is the Minister doing to ensure that the charging infrastructure is in place across rural areas, for both electric and hydrogen vehicles?

My hon. Friend knows that the Government have supported the use of hydrogen in road vehicles for over a decade, including the installation of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure where there is sufficient demand. I should also say that notably, Toyota recently announced the tremendous progress that it appears to have made in commercialising solid-state batteries. That is a very encouraging sign across the piece, not just for hydrogen but for electric.

We have already heard that the uptake of electric vehicles is closely linked to charging points. When will the Government close the gap in charging costs between those who have the ability to charge at home and those who rely on a public charging point?

As the hon. Lady knows, there is wide and differing experience across the charging network. Many people are able to charge at home and many people are able to charge through the increasingly large public network. The way in which electricity prices have changed has tended to dominate changes overall, but she will, I am sure, share my pleasure that the new charge point regulations mean that we can now have a much more competitive market for charging across all the different forms of infrastructure.