Commons launches electric vehicle inquiry

The increased demand on the grid from the mass roll-out of electric vehicles (EVS) will be under the spotlight in a new House of Commons inquiry.

The Commons BEIS (business, energy & industrial strategy) select committee has announced that it is launching an inquiry into electric vehicles (EVs) following the government’s recent pledge to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.

The committee will investigate how the increased uptake of EVs to meet the Government’s 2040 target, will affect the electricity grid and how it can manage the impact.

It will also probe the funding of infrastructure for EVs and associated grid reinforcements, and will examine how charging infrastructure requirements differ for alternative types of vehicle, journey, and users. 

The inquiry will draw on written evidence submitted to the BEIS Committee for its earlier inquiry into EVs, which had to be abandoned following the calling of the general election in April.

The committee said the evidence already submitted highlights the “pressing need” for the government, National Grid and distribution network operators to collaborate on reinforcing the electricity network in order to help cope with increased demand from EVs.

Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the BEIS committee said: “Our inquiry will examine the barriers to the development of the electric car market, look at how it can be better supported, and explore the huge challenges which the electricity grid faces in meeting this additional demand.

“We also want to investigate concerns that there is a ‘postcode lottery’ in charging infrastructure with considerable variation in the availability of charge points across the country, which must inevitably discourage people from buying electric cars”.

The committee has set 4 November as the deadline for submissions. 

David Blackman

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title, Utility Week

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