A leading UK car industry body has called on the government to provide 2.3 million electric car charging points by 2030. As part of its ‘Full Throttle’ proposal designed to ensure the security of UK automotive manufacturing, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says providing chargers will prevent “less prosperous areas” being “left behind”.

It’s one of numerous suggestions made by the SMMT, which wants “unambiguous” government support for an industry that contributes £15 billion to the economy and directly employs around 180,000 people. The report also suggests new measures to improve the UK’s competitiveness and to incentivise greener vehicles.

Alongside the extra charge points, the SMMT wants to see the UK invest in battery production and create factories to produce hydrogen fuel cells. And the organisation wants to see further investment to help the UK “become a leader” in autonomous vehicle technology, as well as ensuring the UK workforce has the skills to work for manufacturers and other industry businesses.

Nissan LEAF production in Sunderland, UK

The SMMT has also made the case for further incentives for electric vehicles, urging the extension of the existing incentives and the addition of new measures. These include exempting electric, hydrogen and plug-in hybrid cars from VAT, Vehicle Excise Duty (VED, or road tax) and company car tax.

And the industry body has called for an independent review of fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty. The two taxes contribute a combined total of around £38 billion in tax revenue every year, and the SMMT says moving away from fuel will leave the government in need of “a different system of taxation” to replace this revenue. However, the organisation points out consumers need to know they will not be “surprised” by new taxes in future.

MINI Cooper SE Electric Collection charging

“The next few years represent a critical period for the sector,” said the SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes. “The pace of technological change is accelerating and the competition more ferocious. If we are to secure vehicle manufacturing in this country, with all the benefits to society that it brings, decisions need to be made today.

“The automotive sector is uniquely placed to help this government deliver on its agenda; to level up, deliver net zero and trade globally. The government has made clear its support for the sector in its negotiations with Europe, so now is the time to go full throttle and take bold action to support one of Britain’s most important industries.”

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