Is the hon. Lady also worried that there is a lack of cable capacity under our streets and of grid capacity to get the power to those fast chargers? How long will that take to resolve and how will that be done?
I share the right hon. Gentleman’s concerns, which is why we consistently make the case for upgrading the grid. That is one of the most important things for getting to net zero in the UK, not just for vehicle charging, but for the roll-out of all the electric infrastructure we need for our many renewable energy installations. I share his concern, but the solution is not to stop the roll-out of electric vehicles; it is to improve the grid and get things sped up as quickly as possible.
If, for example, electric charge points are installed in places where non-electric vehicles park, such as in lamp posts or bollards, valuable charging space will be lost. We Liberal Democrats would give grants to parish and town councils to install charging facilities where they will actually be used—for instance, at village and community halls.
It is important that the Government do not stop the incentives for EV uptake. They must stop penalising people who cannot charge their EVs at home. Drivers currently pay 20% value added tax to use a public charge point, compared with 5% VAT for home charging. That unjustifiable discrepancy must end and the VAT rate for all electric vehicle charges must be equalised at 5%.
Electric vehicles will drive us down the road to net zero. Infrastructure and incentives will be vital. What we need is a Government who are willing to fuel this transition, rather than being content to trundle along in the slow lane.