Green parking spaces proposed to promote electric vehicle uptake

9 September 2020, 17:57

File photo: Electric vehicle charging points
File photo: Electric vehicle charging points. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Car parking spaces could be painted green to promote the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

Mr Shapps, who owns an electric vehicle (EV), said local authorities could be given guidance on ways to highlight which parking spots are dedicated to greener cars.

The move comes as a recent AA poll found nearly half of drivers are considering buying an EV when they next change their car and green number plates are already being rolled out to highlight which vehicles are emission-free.

Other measures that are also being considered to drive a switch away from fossil-fuel cars include installing more charging points at supermarkets and tourist sites, and developing batteries that can charge in six minutes.

Mr Shapps said: "Whether you're taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle.

"This, together with our continued support for R&D (research and development), will see talented UK-based SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country.

"This is why, on the world's first ever day dedicated to celebrating electric vehicles, I'm delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future."

A spokesperson for the RAC, Rob Dennis, said installing more and faster chargepoints at convenient locations "makes a lot of sense" and “things are definitely moving in the right direction”.

But Mr Dennis said while green parking spaces "could be an alluring prospect for some to go electric", he does not believe they will be "the strong trigger the Government wants".

"Drivers continue to tell us that the biggest barrier to them opting for an electric car over one fuelled by petrol or diesel is the upfront cost,” he continued.

"There is a genuine interest among drivers to go electric, but to take that leap of faith the Government might need some bolder fiscal action to nudge them across the zero-emission line."

Pure electric vehicles took a 4% share of the new car market during the first eight months of the year, compared with 1.1% during the same period in 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Hybrid cars are already more widespread, but on Tuesday, car-maker Ford called for the creation of a "minister for electrification" after publishing research suggesting there is widespread confusion around EVs.