The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has said that ‘significant investments’ need to be made to increase the amount of charging stations in the UK.
Though motorists are choosing alternatives, the number of charging stations has only grown by 16% since last year according to the IMI, and the industry body claims that Britain's bid to rid its roads of diesel vehicles will founder if significant investment isn’t made to the number of charging stations.
Ii also warns that insurance costs for ultra-low emission vehicles, which can be up to 50% higher than for petrol or diesels equivalents, and a lack of technicians qualified to work on the vehicles are other key stumbling blocks.
Currently only 1% of all technicians have been trained to work safely on the high-voltage technology, of which almost all of them work exclusively for manufacturers franchised dealers.
A report from the DVSA estimates that the new vehicle technologies could contribute £51bn to the UK economy by 2030.
IMI’s chief executive Steve Nash (pictured) said: “Much more needs to be done if the UK is to realise the £51bn contribution from new vehicle technologies that the government is pursuing by 2030.
“That is contingent upon the UK being a leading player, but we must start with the basics by ensuring that we have the infrastructure and skills base to support motorists making an easy transition from petrol and diesel to electric and hybrid.
“A greater and more rapid investment in the charging infrastructure and financial support to help those working in the service & repair sector, most particularly the independent operators, to gain the skills to work on the new technologies.
“The IMI is continuing its campaign for the introduction of a licensing scheme for those working on the high voltage vehicles, and we’ve asked the government to contribute £30m to support the uptake of the necessary training.
“In order to facilitate this and help clarify the competencies required for working on these vehicles, the IMI has launched a new Electric & Hybrid Vehicle qualification along with the appropriate support materials.”