Ivan Hodac the secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Associations (representing the 15 EU car manufacturers) has claimed that the UK Government is not doing enough to help the electric car industry in the UK and that their approach to encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles is ‘piecemeal’.
His claims have upset UK ministers in light of the £30M electric car charging point assistance deal announced back in Nov 2009. Mr Hodac highlighted the work being put into the north east charging point scheme but said there was little support elsewhere in the UK. Meanwhile the Nissan plant in Sunderland is also pitting itself against Portugal in a bid to win the contract to produce the Nissan Leaf it’s flagship electric car.
The problem at the moment said Mr Hodac is that you can buy an electric car in the UK, providing you are in a major English city and this will get you between the majority of work and home commutes and you can charge it at either end. However, there is no way to undertake journeys of any distance or to join up existing clusters of charging points.
Unsurprisingly the government defended their stance saying the north east was to lead the way and that they were pledging significant sums of money to the development of electric car infrastructure in the UK. Potentially some £400M of investment over the coming years. We think Mr Hodac has a point but the Government is also strapped for cash. How about redirecting some of that Trident budget?