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EVA England publishes EV Drivers’ Manifesto

Document sets out ways to support the transition to electric vehicles

16 May 2024
Launching the EVA England Manifesto 2024

 

EVA England has launched a manifesto that identifies the areas it feels are essential to address as the uptake of electric vehicles grows.

The EV Drivers’ Manifesto 2024 has been shaped by and for EV drivers via a series workshops organised by the electric vehicle owners’ association, which launched the document at the House of Commons in Westminster.

EVA England argues that government support has been key to securing the initial take-off phase in EVs over the past few years, so targeted support will be needed to ensure the next phase of uptake is fair and equitable, inclusive of all income levels, and able to support a growing and complexifying set of charging and access needs.

The EV Drivers’ Manifesto has been structured around the five key pillars:

1. Fairer charging costs
The public charging network must be fairly and consistently priced as more drivers rely mostly on public charging. Diverting green levies towards gas or general taxation would avoid penalising EV drivers with higher electricity consumption, whilst lowering VAT on public charging would address the discrepancy with lower private charging costs.

2. Liberate charging provision
Chargepoint operators (CPOs) have the experience and data to know where and what type of charging is needed in a rapidly evolving EV landscape. CPOs should be granted greater statutory powers, in line with major telecoms and electricity providers, to unlock a new wave of infrastructure at lower costs. Further targeted schemes should be aimed at supporting new destination and home charging points to support a growing demand.

3. Lower insurance premiums
Insurance premiums have risen at alarming rates in the past year alone. EVs are particularly affected as a more nascent market with lower levels of data. Insurers should be mandated to have a share of EV offerings that is reflective of current uptake.

4. Enforce accessibility standards
1.35 million disabled drivers are expected on UK roads by 2035. The current charging infrastructure does not meet their needs in the vast majority of cases. Working accessibility standards are already in place – their implementation for new charging points should be mandated.

5. Democratise EV uptake and drive demand
Despite hugely encouraging numbers in uptake, EV sales remain concentrated in higher income brackets. Targeted, cost-effective schemes should be implemented to enable lower-income households to take part in the green transition, for example by mandating salary sacrifice schemes, and offering highly targeted social leasing schemes and 0% loans already implemented in other countries.

James Court, chief executive of EVA England, said: “This manifesto puts EV drivers themselves at the heart of future policy, and shows the way forward for the winner of the next general election. 92% of drivers are overwhelmingly satisfied with the EV experience, making the future of sustainable mobility such an exciting prospect.

“The manifesto is a blueprint to maintaining this positive outlook, presenting solutions to ensuring our charging infrastructure continues to grow and meet all needs, and that EV costs allow the transition to be fair and equal. EVA England look forward to working with policymakers to make this happen.”

The EVA England manifesto's key policy asks:

  • Move subsidy costs off electricity
  • Reduce VAT on electricity
  • Reduce the planning regulation burdens on installing chargepoints
  • Grant CPOs ‘Statutory Undertaker’ status
  • Mandate for all businesses with more than 10 dedicated parking spaces to have at least one charger installed
  • Ensure a presumptive agreement for renters to install chargers
  • Allow homes near pavement parking to install a gully
  • Require all vehicle insurers to have a market reflective share of their books covering EVs
  • Mandate PAS 1899 if uptake has not increased significantly
  • Require all medium and large companies (over 50 employees) to offer an EV salary sacrifice scheme for their employees
  • Introduce zero interest loans for second-hand EVs
  • Introduce a subsidised EV leasing programme for lower income households.

The Westminster reception provided an opportunity for EVA members from across the country to engage with parliamentarians and stakeholders in the electric vehicle (EV) landscape.

Transport decarbonisation minister Anthony Browne attended the launch event, saying: “With so many drivers choosing to go electric, the UK is racing towards a net zero future. The progress we’ve made so far clearly demonstrates the benefits of organisations like EVA England and government working together to support people to make the switch for good. I look forward to working with the EVA and wider EV community to ensure that this excellent work continues.”

The manifesto was launch event was hosted by Bill Esterson MP, Labour’s shadow minister for roads, who said: “As we move forward with the transition towards sustainable transport, it is vital that the voices of EV drivers, both current and prospective, remain heard and that their needs are met. I look forward to working with dedicated members’ associations like EVA England to ensure our progress towards net zero is inclusive, affordable, and fair for all.”

Besides transport minister and his shadow, the event was attended by key parliamentarians involved in the EV landscape, including Ian Stewart MP, chair of the Transport Committee and Matt Western MP, chair of the APPG for Electric Vehicles.

Fiona Howarth, founder of Octopus EV, said: “It’s a huge pleasure to support EVA England launch their Manifesto at the heart of Westminster. With over 1 million EVs on UK roads, who better to help us shape future policy than those drivers experiencing it every day. We find drivers love the cars – from the smooth acceleration to the amazing tech on board – and of course, the huge savings on running costs. UK policy has encouraged investment in charging and made EVs more affordable through schemes like salary sacrifice. It’s great to see a clear list of asks from EV drivers shared today through EVA England.”

Paul Radford, an EVA England member, said: “It’s been inspirational to attend this manifesto launch and hear from the MPs and their thoughts on how they will improve our experience in driving and charging, as well as develop our infrastructure. I have been an EV driver for the last two and half years and I found the experience fantastic. I wouldn’t go back to a petrol car. The charging experience keeps getting easier and it’s great to see more and more actual electric drivers out there.”

Download the EVA England EV Drivers’ Manifesto

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