New residential developments in Wales should include provisions for electric vehicle charging according to the National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee.
Sales of electric cars and vans are growing across the UK and as range anxiety becomes less of an issue with EVs able to travel much further, the Committee wanted to know what the Welsh Government’s plans were to ensure demand doesn’t outstrip capacity.
A recently published policy requires new non-residential developments to set aside at least ten per cent of parking spaces for ultra-low-emission vehicles. The Committee believes this should also apply to residential developments with provision to increase the percentage of spaces as EVs become more prevalent.
The Committee also wants to see better communication between the Welsh Government, local authorities and the general public to keep them up to date on the latest progress with the Transport for Wales led EV charging network.
The Welsh Government has set aside two million pounds for improvements to the EV charging network including in rural areas; identified by the Committee as more likely to miss out if charging points are left to market forces alone.
“As the electric vehicle market expands, there is a clear need for urgent acceleration by the Welsh Government to ensure the network can cope,” said Russell George AM, Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee.
“Communication with stakeholders and the people of Wales will be a critical part of delivering this network.
“We also believe the EV infrastructure can be hard-wired in if the government requires all new residential developments to set aside car parking capacity for electric vehicles, as is currently the case with non-residential.”
The Committee makes eight recommendations in its report, including:
- The requirement in Planning Policy Wales 10 – that new non-residential developments to have charging points in at least 10% of the parking spaces available – should be extended to include residential developments. Consideration should also be given to raising the percentage of parking spaces, as EVs become more prevalent;
- The Welsh Government’s policies and aspirations are pointing in the right direction, and while there has been a perceived lack of activity to date this could create opportunities to learn from what works elsewhere. It is vital now that the promised charging strategy is delivered in 2020, and supported by sufficient financial and political capital to ensure that the Minister’s vision can be turned in to reality without delay; and,
- It is vital that the procurement of a TfW-led EV Charging network learns the lessons of Superfast Cymru (ie don’t over-promise, communicate effectively, and ensure that where public investment creates private profit, there is a mechanism to share that benefit and increase the scope of the intervention).
The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.