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Electric Vehicles: Charge Points

Volume 617: debated on Thursday 17 November 2016

14. What assessment he has made of the level of availability of charge points for electric vehicles. (907307)

The UK now has 11,000 publicly accessible charge points, with Europe’s largest network of rapid charge points and provision at 96% of motorway service areas. We will continue to support the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to ensure that we realise our ambition that almost every car and van on UK roads is a zero-emission vehicle by 2050.

I welcome the Minister’s reply. I also declare an interest: I am in the process of buying a Nissan Leaf to show my support for Nissan’s welcome investment in electric vehicles and indeed in other vehicles. Will the Minister explain how he is looking to support small businesses investing in electric vehicles for their staff and their businesses?

I am delighted that my hon. Friend is taking that step. I had the joy of driving a Nissan Leaf for the first time last week, and I know that he is as committed to this cause as I am, but he asked a very particular question. Disraeli said that justice is truth in action. Now, I am going to offer him some justice for those who want to get this right. I am pleased to inform the House that the £7.5 million grant scheme for charge points at workplaces will be rolled out—applications will begin—this Monday.

Sorry to break the consensus, but is there not a danger of the Government putting too much emphasis on electric vehicles and not enough on liquefied petroleum gas and hydrogen cells, which do not require the same level of infrastructure?

The hon. Gentleman is right that technology is changing in all kinds of ways, and there will be all kinds of results from that in respect of the zero emission ambition that I set out. The electric vehicle developments that I described, and to which the hon. Gentleman referred, are important. The Government’s role is to make sure that we do what we can to make them as attractive to consumers as possible. Charge points are at the heart of that.