Electric Vehicles
Electric Vehicles

In the last few weeks UK car production has fallen to the lowest level for 66 years.

This country has an incredible automotive industry and for decades car production has been the beating heart of many of our communities and the envy of the world.  But the Tories’ never-ending chaos has damaged confidence in the industry.  And important decisions that need to be made about the future, such as on necessary charging infrastructure are simply not being made.

Britain has an opportunity, but an ever decreasing one, to lead the world in the manufacture of electric vehicles.  The government has set an ambitious target that by 2030 the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned, so the move to electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support this, is urgent. But the latest figures show that in the last year, 8,680 chargers have been installed, which is far behind the pace needed to meet the government’s own target of 300,000. If they continue at this rate less than 100,000 public charging points will be available when the sale of new petrol and diesel engines ends in 2030.

On these projections, the UK will not hit 300,000 charging points until 2053 –20 years after the target date.

What’s more, the price of electric vehicles is simply out of sight for too many.  There is little help for people to make the switch and they remain unaffordable for most of the country.

In order to make this a reality, we need to invest in the entire supply chain here in the UK.  There is no point weaning ourselves off Putin’s oil and gas if we are simply going to replace that reliance with batteries from China or elsewhere.  We need to grow and protect the supply chain in this country in order to secure our own energy supply.

This seems completely self-evident, but the Government is walking back all the time from a proper industrial strategy.

Labour is committed to investing in eight new ‘gigafactories’, that will produce the batteries needed and we will ensure public and private money is directed to the areas of the country that need electric charging points the most.

It is disgraceful that there are more electric vehicle charging points in one borough of London than in eight of the major cities in England combined.

We cannot delay any further, we must move as quickly as possible to ensure that there is an electric car revolution in every part of the country.

Labour has a plan to secure the industry’s future, boost employment and support people across the country to make the switch to electric vehicles.

But alongside this, we must also improve public transport, and make it affordable, reliable, and accessible. We simply cannot reach our climate change goals or make our communities cleaner and more pleasant places to live, unless we drastically improve our public transport system. A Labour government will reform the broken bus system, giving communities control of their own bus routes and fares and delivering the better bus services that passengers need.  And we’ll bring our railways back into public ownership so that they work for passengers, not shareholders.

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