Ikea and Currys urge government to improve EV charging infrastructure

More than 20 businesses including Ikea, Virgin Media O2 and Currys are urging the government to improve EV charging infrastructure to help the UK achieve 100% electric car vans and sales by 2030.

They are backing calls from the UK Electric Fleets Coalition, run by non-profit Climate Group.

In particular, the businesses are calling on the government to prioritise kerbside charging, which the group says would help drivers be able to charge their vehicles overnight which they say is currently a struggle due to a lack of off-street parking.

Backing the UKEFC, they also argued that “UK businesses play a key role in the transition, and are ready to lead. They need clarity and certainty from the government to help them as they ramp up investments in EVs, such as the zero emission vehicle mandate”.

The call for policies to support EVs comes after the prime minister U-turned on the government’s plans to ban the sale of non-electric vehicles by 2030, pushing back the date to 2035 instead.

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“The UK has shown strong leadership on EVs, but it now needs to stay the course, and keep going further, faster. Our paper sets out clearly the steps the government can take today to help businesses fully ramp up investment in EVs,” said Climate Group director of transport Sandra Roling.

“Businesses need clear signals of continued leadership from government to enable their investments,” she added.

“We welcomed clarity around 2024’s net zero emission vehicle mandate, but this was followed by the disappointing announcement that the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been pushed back from 2030 to 2035″.

Openreach CEO Clive Selley said “we’re committed to switching to a zero emissions fleet by 2031. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, business and the environment.”

He added that the company has “already purchased 2,800 electric vans and installed thousands of chargers at engineer’s homes”, but said it continues to face “challenges including the lack of public charging infrastructure.”

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