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Following the written evidence previously submitted in response to the BEIS Committee’s enquiry into electric vehicles, NFDA Chairman Mark Squires, responded to the Committee’s questions on the issue on Tuesday 27 February alongside representatives from Tesla, the RAC Foundation and the Energy Saving Trust.
Giving evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee at the Palace of Westminster, NFDA Chairman, Mark Squires, outlined the main barriers to the development of electric vehicles: “Concerns surrounding battery range, access to charging points” as well as “depreciation”. The limited range of new models also represents an issue.
The enquiry explored the role of electric vehicles (EVs) in the transition to a low carbon economy. It analysed the actions needed to support the development of the new and used EV market, the main barriers currently impeding its growth, and the effectiveness of current policies.
Squires added that “The second-hand car market is key” and “although there has been a gradual rise in vehicles sold and NFDA dealer members report growing interest from the consumer, the used electric vehicle market is still in its infancy.”
He highlighted that plug-in hybrids have a very important role, not only as they currently help alleviate some of the issues, such as range anxiety, but also because they will encourage consumers to feel more comfortable in switching to alternatively fuelled vehicles. Going forward, price parity between electric vehicles and conventional diesel and petrol cars will represent a tipping point. Overall, there was further panel consensus that the future is a multi-fuel future.
NFDA is pleased that the Government engaged with us to understand automotive retailers’ views on the issue. We will continue to urge them to support the industry in establishing a realistic and practical approach which reflects consumer demand.