It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship for the first time, Mr Turner. I congratulate Neil Parish on securing this debate. One quite good thing about Westminster Hall debates is that they give me a chance to agree with Conservative Members, and I pretty much agreed with everything he said, including his recommendations and conclusions. He mentioned the need for continued tough regulations and targets on climate change and air quality after Brexit. I agree with that, but from a Scottish perspective I hope Scotland will remain in the EU, as the Scottish people wish.
The standard motion in a Westminster Hall debate is “That this House has considered” the topic. By default, for electric and hybrid cars, the answer is yes. The House has already considered the matter, and there have been different Government policies on it. However, those policies have changed, which is part of the reason why electric vehicle uptake is not as high as was originally predicted.
Everyone agrees that electric cars are good for the environment and they have the bonus that their running costs are estimated at 2p to 3p per mile, which is way cheaper than 16p per mile for the average family car that runs on conventional fuels. But, as the hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton pointed out, up-front costs are a barrier to many people being able to purchase these cars, so the uptake has been way too small for us to start to make inroads in climate change targets. The Government need to take more action, and that action has to be joined up across the entire energy sector if it is to contribute to meeting climate change targets. I emphasise that I agree with the hon. Gentleman’s recommendations.