By Dominic Williams | News Editor
With the aim to make a greener U.K, the government recently announced this year the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030. Therefore the Welsh government has started to lay foundations for making the transition to electric cars.
However, in Wales, just 0.17% of vehicles are electric. In an aim to reduce carbon emissions the Welsh government has proposed an investment of £30million over 5 years. Furthermore, a consultation on the strategy has been launched to support the efforts into the transition to low emission vehicles.
The Welsh government has had discussions with consumers to identify a number of issues that reduced confidence in electric vehicles. Therefore, the government has listed desired outcomes including payment to be possible by the contactless and app-based system, consistent information about charging on main roads, reliable and available infrastructure, 24/7 customer care to support drivers, and safe, well-lit environments for charging facilities.
The strategy outlines the need for between 30,000 and 50,000 fast charges and 2,000 to 3,500 rapid chargers.
Furthermore, the Welsh Government has been clear that it expects the private sector to lead on the infrastructure, with the UK government support where the market fails. As part of the 2018-2019 budget deal with Plaid Cymru, the Welsh government committed £2m in funding to electric car charging points over two years, 2018-19 and 2019-2020.
However, the Welsh government’s engagement with stakeholders has been lacking. The local government especially has been critical in efforts to date. Though the Minister recognized the importance of working in partnership with others and we expect to see progress in this area around the development and publication of the EV charging strategy.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, commented:
‘’Electric vehicles is an emerging market but one that that will be integral to how we travel in the coming years. Improvements cannot be driven by government alone, and this strategy will support the public, private, and third sector to work together in giving people confidence in using electric vehicles.’’
Transport for Wales will take the lead in delivering rapid charging on the strategic trunk road network. The Welsh Government’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Transformation Fund will be used to support the transition for taxis and private hire. Delivery measures will be outlined within the Action Plan.