House of Lords launches inquiry into UK’s electric car transition

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s upper house of parliament said on Wednesday it was launching an inquiry into electric vehicles (EVs) that will examine the government’s approach to phasing out fossil-fuel models, charging infrastructure and end-of-life disposal of EVs.

The UK government has announced a ban on the sale of new fossil-fuel-only model cars by 2030, and on hybrid vehicles that have both a large battery and combustion engine by 2035.

The House of Lords’ environment and climate change committee said the aim of the inquiry was to “understand how the Government will achieve its target of decarbonising cars and vans in the UK”.

The main focus will be on passenger cars and the barriers to meeting the government’s targets.

“The rubber is now hitting the road – as we can’t get to net zero without individuals making changes to our lives, how we travel and what we buy,” environment and climate change committee chair Kate Parminter said in a statement.

So far, EVs are generally more expensive than their combustion engine counterparts and bringing prices down has been seen as key to mass adoption by consumers.

Insufficient access to charging infrastructure, above all on-street chargers for those who park on the street and cannot charge at home, has also been cited as a barrier to broader public acceptance of EVs.

The environment and climate change committee said it wanted to hear from industry, local authorities and others “what the Government needs to do to encourage greater take up of EVs” ahead 2030 and 2035.

Evidence can be submitted until Sept. 15, the committee said.

(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Mark Potter)