AA Manifesto In Big EV Charging Infrastructure Call

The local elections may be a lot closer than the general election, but with the country set to choose its next government no later than January 2025, many organisations are now making their thoughts known on what priorities the politicians should have, irrespective of who ends up with their hands on the levers of power.

Some people may think this makes no difference and that all the lobbying in the world won’t prompt the people in power to take much notice. But those who are more optimistic might think about how their own lives and careers could be enhanced if some ideas are taken up.

For example, if you are an electrician thinking of taking an EV charging course, the prospects for getting work installing these chargers can only be boosted by any increased commitment to improving the infrastructure for electric vehicles around the UK. And this is exactly what the AA is calling for.

It is one of the key points in its Motoring Manifesto, launched this month. Based on feedback from members, the document called for a “sustainable future”, which is said requires “providing the right incentives, infrastructure, and information to support the switch to zero emission vehicles”.

A primary example of this would be “helping those without off-street parking by cutting VAT for on-street EV charging”.

This particular point is one the AA is not alone in making. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has also advocated taking action to remove the VAT disincentive currently experienced by those unable to charge their vehicles at home, such as people who have to use pavement parking.

What this means is that while some people can fit chargers on their driveways and enjoy a tax break for doing so, any motorists who want to own an electric car but are unable to take advantage of this because off-road parking is not an option will end up paying more for using a public charger.

Considering that there are millions of homes where this limitation exists – on narrow roads full of old terraced houses that were never designed for a car-owning population – this is a clear barrier to EV adoption, which in turn means less demand for public chargers and emissions targets more likely to be missed.

With multiple organisations arguing for this to change, there could be a clear opportunity for the government, whatever its political complexion over the coming years, to take steps to incentivise EV uptake through the tax system. This may also prove rather more popular, and be seen as fairer, than hammering those still using petrol and diesel with more tax.

However, another solution that may emerge is through installations that can provide EV charging at home for those parking off-road. Fleet News recently reported on a trial in Hartlepool of a system embedded in kerbs, following a similar exercise in Stirling.

This suggests that, even if some of the suggestions by major motoring organisations are not taken up at government level, other solutions may gradually arise, provided enough skilled electricians are around to install them.