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PRA welcome electric vehicle recommendations in public accounts committee report

PRA 19/05/2021

Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), said: “The PRA welcomes the recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee. We support the process of decarbonisation, but there needs to be a comprehensive plan to enable an effective transition to electric vehicles”.

“The Government’s ambition to ban sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030 and certain hybrid vehicles by 2035 will require a significant amount of investment. To date, the Government have been reticent to provide this funding. When the 2030 ICE ban was announced, only £4.3 billion was promised to accompany it1. For context, the French government have announced over €30 billion worth of green funds, yet are sticking with a 2040 ban2. Even with their sizable investment, they do not believe any date sooner is economically and practically feasible.

“Technical and commercial challenges remain in establishing the electric charging infrastructure required for mass EV take-up. This is particularly apparent at petrol forecourts where many of our members have abandoned plans to install ultrarapid charging points. This is due to a lack of local power sub-stations, onerous regulation and lack of return on investment. The Government urgently needs to stop overlooking petrol retailers as they will play a crucial part in making the 2030 ban feasible. While their forecourts are uniquely placed to support the roll out of EV charging points, which will reduce range anxiety amongst the general public, much more support from the Government is needed to make this a reality.

“Further to this, the shortcomings in investment has meant that the cost of electric vehicles continue to price-out millions of people as they remain exorbitantly expensive. This is reflected in the fact that, despite growing demand, only 11% of new car registrations in 2020 were ultra-low emission3.”

< See other press releases

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) represents 5,500 independent fuel retailers who now account for 70% of all UK forecourts. 

1. Government Consultation Response - Outcome and response to the ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans

2. International Institute for Sustainable Development – French stimulus package

3. SMMT – Car registrations

About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.