Olympic Games: Doping: Electric and Hybrid Electric Cars (6 Jul 2016)

Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that another barrier to many of us leading by example and using an electric car is the range of the vehicle? If he or I wanted to travel from our constituencies to Westminster by electric car, we could not currently do so without breaking the journey to recharge it.

Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman. The point was made earlier that the up-front cost is one barrier, but another is the availability of charge points and the distance cars can travel. I hope to touch on that a little later.

In 2011, the coalition Government published their strategy paper for electric vehicles, which predicted that between 1% and 2% of new car registrations in 2015 would be electric. That was a very modest target, but sales for the third quarter of 2015 were less than 1%—effectively, the target was missed by 100%. Between 2010 and 2015, only 42,700 out of 3.4 million new cars registered were electric. That is only 1.3%, so there is a long way to go. A 2050 horizon for nearly every car being electric is a reasonable timeframe and an acceptable target for the Government but, if we are to achieve that, instinctively, it feels that we need a much higher uptake than we currently have. To achieve that will require more Government action. Will the Minister explain what additional steps are planned?

We heard earlier that that wee independent oil-rich country called Norway has managed to achieve a market share for electric vehicles of 18%—that is what my notes say; if it is 25%, as the hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton said, that is even better—so there are clearly lessons to be learned.