The UK's House of Lords has announced an inquiry into government plans to decarbonise cars and vans in the country. This will include a look at whether its aims of halting fossil fuel vehicle sales by 2030 are realistic?
It will also investigate the second deadline of 2035 for all new cars and vans to be "fully zero emission at the tailpipe", which will effectively see a ban on hybrid vehicle sales.
First announced in November 2020, the government's "Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution" was heralded in some quarters, but also left many sceptical as to whether such ambitious targets can be met. It is often claimed that the UK's electric vehicle infrastructure, including the amount of working charge points around the country, will be robust enough to cope.
The House of Lords committee also wants to examine whether the phaseout dates will encourage an upswell in sales of electric cars. And, if not, what will be needed to ensure the country can meet the rapidly approaching target – financially and practically.
Chair of the committee, Baroness Kate Parminter, has invited the public, especially those with experience of EV use in the UK to aid the inquiry: "We want to hear from the public about their experience of acquiring and using EVs in the UK, and the barriers to doing so," she said in a statement.
"We also want to find out from industry, local authorities, and all others with an interest in decarbonising transport, what the government needs to do to encourage greater take up of EVs ahead of their 2030 and 2035 targets."
Those with strong views on the subject are invited to submit their evidence and statements via a portal on the UK Parliament's website. Suggestions of questions and topics to be discussed can also be found at that address.
The deadline for submissions is 15 September 2023.
The investigation could take a while to conclude, but some will hope that it could put pressure on the UK government to either raise spending on infrastructure to make the cut-off dates feasible, or push them back by a few years to allow for a more seamless transition.
The European Union, for example, has the same 2035 target for zero emission car sales but doesn't require the registration of new fossil fuel cars by 2030.