MPs call for fair pricing for public EV charging

Aug 4, 2021

AS electric vehicles become increasingly popular, MPS on the Transport Select Committee said people must be protected from excessive pricing for public charging.

With home charging considerably cheaper than using public charge points, the MPs said those who are less able to afford it may feel pressured adding that the charging infrastructure needs to be more accessible and reliable, ensuring those in rural areas have equal access.

They added that property developers should also be required to provide public charging points, and councils should make sure charging infrastructure is built.

Transport Select Committee Chair Huw Merriman said: “Charging electric vehicles should be convenient, straightforward and inexpensive and drivers must not be disadvantaged by where they live or how they charge their vehicles.”

The committee said industry must use pricing “to change consumer charging behaviour to a ‘little but often’ approach and at times when the National Grid can meet total demand”.

Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets at National Grid, told the BBC that the energy network operator was “working with government to map out where critical grid capacity is needed to enable the faster roll out of charging points”.

“There will be an uptick in demand for energy so we need to ensure that we are future proofing, putting the right wires in the right place for future demand.”

He said National Grid would have to ramp up capacity to help achieve the UK’s net zero goals, both by making it smarter, but also putting in more physical infrastructure.

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb said: “Without reliable, affordable and accessible public charging, households without off-street parking will be left behind. With the 2030 banon sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles fast approaching, it’s crucial that we act now to ensure this doesn’t happen. This means ramping up the installation of on-street charging solutions across the board – from densely populated urban to remote rural areas. We have to ensure that where someone lives isn’t a barrier to driving electric.”

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said that a third of homeowners have no access to dedicated off-street parking or workplace charging and have no choice but to pay the rates set on the public charging network.

He added: “On the road to electrification, we cannot allow one group of drivers to benefit while others struggle – in effect, a two-tier system of have and have-nots.”

The Government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and hybrids by 2035.