Open Letter to Baroness Kramer, Minister of Transport. Ref: Minister’s statement on the BBC Radio 4 show, ‘You and Yours’

Open Letter to Baroness Kramer, Minister of Transport. Ref: Minister’s statement on the BBC Radio 4 show, ‘You and Yours’

draft-logo-3Dear Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer,

Along with our EVDA-UK Board member Andrew Fennick-Green, you recently participated in EV Discussion, titled, “The Rising Costs of charging electric cars” on Radio BBC 4 “You and Yours” Programme.

The Programme discussed the high electric car charging tariffs introduced by ChargeMaster plc, in the UK, at cost of £7.50 per such since “rapid charging cycle”.

During the BBC Radio interview, you have made a number of remarks that £7.50 fee per single rapid charge cycle is acceptable, by implying that electric car is “not designed for long travels” and reinforcing these views by adding, – “The public rapid chargers are intended for occasional use. They’re not a standard way of recharging your car”.

On both counts, this is simply not true;

This coming from a Government Minister is disappointing, as the ones you mentioned above risk damaging a very embryonic technical revolution within the vehicle market.

The EVDA-UK as a representative of EV drivers would like you to corroborate or retract your comments that Rapid chargers are not intended for regular usage of EV drivers up and down the country roads.

At the current cost levels that Chargemaster PLC are charges are simply exorbitant, above the supply costs for the commodity we as consumers pay for at home and as a result put fuel costs for EV drivers at premium of £1.20p above the average gallon of diesel giving a similar range of miles.

Electricity as a fuel for vehicles in the form of BEV’s (Battery Electric Vehicles) and RE-EV’s (Range Extended Electric Vehicles) has been heavily pushed and supported through various grants by the British Government due to their cleaner credentials over the life time of the vehicle compared to oil based fuels to help reduce this countries Carbon Footprint.

The principle of Electric Car “green revolution” government is backing, predominantly stems in the Zero Emission factor which offers significant benefits: Improved Air quality: Reduced Respiratory diseases for the local communities & Reduced noise pollution.

Government announced a package worth 500 million pounds (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/deputy-prime-minister-takes-green-cars-up-a-gear) to make good strides towards cleaner and better transport, where plugin Hybrid and Electric car growth being high on the agenda.

32 Million pounds of such package are “funds” to boost charging infrastructure network, by specifically, installing Rapid Charge points across “M” and “A” routes, throughout the UK.

By implication, ChargeMaster Plc is a recipient of such funding and yet, the price tariffs for use of such rapid charging stations stand not only to effectively render the government grant unusable for the average electric vehicle motorist, but risk suffocating the very “Green” Agenda this government is set to achieve, at tax payer’s cost.

Charged with Electric Vehicle driver’s interest representation, I invite you to get in touch with our organization to help you understand the nuances of Electric Car uptake growth in the UK.

Electric Cars for some may indeed be a “green” factor benefit they may use on their local commutes, however for the large number of EV Drivers like myself, you will be surprise to hear that inter-city commutes to work/London and clocking some 20,000-30,000 miles a year is not that rare any longer.

This is all made possible with the growing number of electric charging points being introduced throughout the country, enabling steady growth dispelling myths and risks as a result of “range anxiety” some may retain.

Consumers are given grants of up to £5,000 pounds and grants for EV Vans can be up to £8,000. Van drivers are likely to use Rapids daily in the sometimes hundreds of miles traveled in a day, C & C taxis also have a fleet of 5 Nissan Leaf’s on their fleet who require rapid charging to work in a business environment. There are thousands of people who now have to travel over 40 miles each way on the motorway network just to get to work as the economic hardships push people to hunt employment at greater distances from their home address, where yes they do charge at night but require charging on-route to ensure arrival with charge to head home.

At an approximate cost around £27,500 EV’s are not bought just to do local journeys within the ranges of type 2 fast chargers. EV drivers also need to stop regularly to re-fuel at service stations just like millions of other oil based fuel drivers do today but instead they use the rapid charge network.

People buy EV’s because of their perceived lower running costs, cleaner day to day use, compared to oil based fueled vehicles. If potential buyers of EV’s now believe your comments are the Government’s policy on rapid charges, which if we take the costs that Chargemaster Plc are currently charging which at present is a massive premium over oil based fuels, you will damage a market which is only just starting to build in momentum.

Not only that, it risks hundreds, possibly tens of thousands of jobs within the vehicle manufacturing trade and component supply routes! If as a result of your comments, EV’s are now not bought due to people now thinking an EV choice will result in an expensive choice due to the now higher running costs over oil based fueled vehicles.

It is time the British Government engaged with the current and future EV drivers via organizations such as ourselves to give us a voice and so ministers can have a true understanding what the EV user wants or needs to succeed to help this country become a potential leader in the EV markets and help keep our carbon foot print lower.

 

Sincerely,

EVDA-UK

 


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