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Bath MP pushes the Government to address inequalities in Electric Vehicle charging

In a Westminster Hall debate on 22nd February, Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, pressured the Government to address the regional inequalities in Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure.

During the debate, Mrs Hobhouse highlighted the regional disparities in charging infrastructure. The South West has double the amount of EVs per 100,000 people compared to Inner London yet it has been neglected in terms of charging points when compared to the capital. Inner London has four times the amount of charging points per 100,000 people in comparison with the South West. 

To compound matters, two-thirds of the new EV charging points next year will be built in London. The Bath MP called for more support to be given to Local Authorities in developing their grids by Ofgem and central Government. The lack of grid capacity is preventing many councils from expanding their EV charging point programmes as much as they would like. 

Bath’s MP has praised the Liberal Democrat led B&NES Council’s tireless efforts to build more EV charging points but the weak grid in the region is proving a major barrier to expansion. The National Grid wants to reinforce the grid in the West of England, but Ofgem is refusing their funding proposals. 

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, has called on the Government to encourage Ofgem to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, and stop stalling on plans to reform Ofgem’s remit to allow for pre-emptive investment in grid infrastructure.

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and Liberal Democrat Climate Change and Transport Spokesperson, commented:

“The green transition must also be a just transition and this means that we have to address regional divides in Net Zero infrastructure. The focus on London and the volume of chargers being built in the capital compared to the rest of the country clearly is not achieving this. 

“Councils need support from the central Government for their local efforts to install charging points. To this end, the Government and Ofgem are letting them down. In the South West, our major barrier is a weak grid infrastructure which the National Grid has said it wants to improve but Ofgem is refusing their funding proposals.

“The Government is failing to encourage Ofgem to be part of the solution and not the problem. Ministers need to stop stalling plans to reform Ofgem’s remit which will allow for pre-emptive investment in the grid. Until this happens we will see the infrastructure expansion lagging behind EV uptake and any push towards a just transition in transport stalled.”

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