Motion for leave to bring in a Bill (Standing Order No. 23)
Order. In fairness to hon. Members who are speaking, I point out that the cameras pick up Members who are going to their seats and who block the view of the Member speaking. I know that it is important to get people into the Chamber, but this is a ten-minute rule Bill, and there is plenty of time for people to come in. Think of others, please.
The UK is one of the leaders in combating climate change and I am rightly proud of that record. Since 1990, the UK has decarbonised at the fastest rate of any G20 country and of course, we were the first to legislate for net zero by 2050. Last December, we went one step further and said that we would have an interim target of a 68% reduction by 2030. That is rightly an ambitious target and I am glad about that. However, if we are to achieve it, we need to focus on our transport sector.
Transport is the biggest emitter of carbon in the entire country. Last year, it accounted for 29.8% of total emissions. If we look forward to 2035, that is likely to increase as a percentage share. Cars account for 55% of those emissions. If we add in light vans, that increases to almost two thirds. Hence we can see how vital it is that we transition to electric vehicles.
I am glad that the Government have brought forward to 2030 the date when we ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. That is a huge achievement. However, it is important that we not only set targets but put in place concrete steps to achieve them. That is why I am introducing this ten-minute rule Bill today. It will mandate that all new homes and office buildings should have electric vehicle charging points.
I am delighted that the Bill has the support of two Opposition Members—one from the Scottish National party and one from the Democratic Unionist party—and the support of other colleagues on the Government Benches whom I could not list in the list of sponsors.
The Government did undertake a consultation in 2019 on mandating electric vehicle charging points in new buildings, but we have not yet seen legislation as a result. However, I hope that this Bill is very timely because we should imminently have both the transport decarbonisation plan and the infrastructure strategy plan. I do not want to be too forward, but it would be good to see the Government adopting the thread of the Bill.
Let me set out why I think this is so critically important. Constituents say that their one reservation about buying electric vehicles is concern about the reliability of the infrastructure and the charging network. Because of their concerns about that reliability, they become concerned about range—so-called range anxiety. By mandating that all new-build offices and homes have these charging points, we will be able to address a lot of these concerns. Residential users will know that they can charge their cars overnight, and people, like many in my constituency, who only have on-street parking will have confidence that they can charge their cars at their offices. It will also, importantly, relieve some of the pressure on on-street parking and on the general grid of the charging network.
The Bill is very important from a safety perspective. It is clearly better that people charge their cars at home with proper chargers rather than some of the ad hoc charging methods that we see at the moment, such as extension leads dangling through windows going towards on-street parking. I am glad to say that the Bill has the support of Electrical Safety First. It is way cheaper to install electric charging points at the point of construction rather than retrofitting. The latest data shows that to retrofit an electric vehicle charging point costs £2,040 but to install it from new costs only £976. It is also very important for the uptake of electric vehicles in rural communities. At the moment, inner cities, like my own City of London, do have good uptake, but all new-builds having these charging points will definitely help in rural communities, where 68% of journeys are done by car.
The Bill is also important because it forces developers to buy into net zero. That means that this is in everyone’s mind, because whenever people are in their house or in their office and see an electric vehicle charging point, they realise that the new norm is electric vehicles—because we do need to make it the new norm.
While this Bill does not seek to address all the issues with electric vehicles, we clearly do need a comprehensive and strategic national grid of charging points. We also need to focus on the consumer experience in terms of interoperability. This Bill will go a small way to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles, which is critical to meeting our target for net zero and making the world a better place.
Question put and agreed to.
That Felicity Buchan, Alan Brown, Tracey Crouch, Philip Dunne, Simon Fell, Damian Green, Mrs Pauline Latham, Tim Loughton, Cherilyn Mackrory, Selaine Saxby, Andrew Selous and Jim Shannon present the Bill.
Felicity Buchan accordingly presented the Bill.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 22 October and to be printed (Bill 146).
Business of the House (Today)
That, at this day’s sitting, the Speaker shall put the Question necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion in the name of the Prime Minister relating to Treasury Update on International Aid not later than three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion for this Order; proceedings relating to the motion on Treasury Update on International Aid may continue, though opposed, after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.—(Jacob Rees-Mogg.)