UK Government Says It's Unnecessary to Establish Targets or Provide Support for Plug-In Vehicles

By · January 25, 2013

Nissan LEAF

Let's hope this doesn't signal the start of a trend.

Recently, the UK's Transport Select Committee submitted its report, titled "Plugged in Policy?" The report focused on plug-in vehicles, including adoption, charging, and sales. The UK's government officials reviewed "Plugged in Policy?" and arrived at the general conclusion that it's not necessary to establish targets for plug-in vehicle sales and that it's not the duty of government to standardize charging points or otherwise support the growth of plug-in vehicles.

The government arrived at this conclusion despite recommendations to the contrary presented by one of the government's Common Select Committees. The committee suggested that the government explain how it will standardize the plug-in vehicle infrastructure, which in this case includes charging requirements (connectors, locations, fees) and financial incentives for plug-in vehicle buyers.

The government rejected the idea that it should be involved in this process, instead stating "There are advantages to a single recharging plug solution… it is our stance that it is for the market and industry to decide what charging hardware and infrastructure will be."

Furthermore, the report from the Committee suggested that the government establish sales targets to assess the success of plug-in vehicle and to evaluate the impact of the UK's subsidies for plug-in vehicles. In response, the government stated that uncertainty of market penetration of plug-ins prevents a target from being established. If there's no goal, then how can a nation evaluate success?

This back-seat approach and we're-not-involved attitude is not likely to promote growth in the plug-in vehicle segment. If the government of a nation can't stand behind a worthy product, then its residents likely won't either. There's already evidence of this in the UK, where sales of plug-in vehicles are abysmal, but if this hands-off stance were to be adopted by other nations, the consequences would seriously impact the health of the market.


· · 5 years ago

The trick seems to be to get governments involved in things in which they should be involved - like promoting plug-in cars - and keep them out of promoting technologies that make no economic or environmental sense, like nuclear power and fossil fuel development. The US and the world would have a LOT more oil left if the respective governments had not conspired with oil, insurance and auto companies, real estate developers and, needless to say, bankers whose livelihood depends on keeping us all in debt, upon perpetual economic growth, making and buying things we really don't need and future generations can not afford.

That probably includes plug-in cars (PIC) BTW, though the case can be made that if they were only used on an as-needed basis even the convenience of a PIC would be affordable. (So far I have burned 1/10th of a gallon of gas after driving my Volt about 475 miles.) In any event we are going to need the damn things for a few years while we work to correct the mistakes of the last century, i.e. the squandering of a once in a half million year inheritance of fossil fuels by governments conspiring with the 'usual suspects' (see above) to promote employment (really just the ability for money to keep making more money - the usual suspects never miss an opportunity to mechanize, automate or off-shore the jobs which are supposed to be the sole source of livelihood for the rest of us).

· · 5 years ago

The rest of the diatribe...
If you haven't seen it yet try to get a look at: I got a copy from the University of Arizona library. It was a VHS tape but maybe the documentary is available on DVD now.

In any event, it chronicles the systematic destruction of mass transit systems in the U.S. from the 1930s to after WWII. Back in the good old days when the government was under pressure to at least give lip service to the concept of a nation of laws, the usual suspects were actually prosecuted by the Justice Dept. - and fined a whopping $5 (no typo) for this little conspiracy.

If only... we could all be enjoying guilt-free rides in our PICs if our mass transit systems could not take us where we wanted to go when we wanted to go there.

· · 5 years ago

I'm basically of British extraction but Britain these days is a mess. No way would I want to live there today and it has nothing to do with the lack of a subsidy for EV's. The Island is basically converting into a Police State. Now that they've prevented people from defending themselves for several decades (like polititians here want to do too), they are currently the most dangerous place to live in Europe.

We used to think the idea of a Surveilance state was something out of the East German Stasi or Soviet Russia. But Britain has eclipsed anything those Police States had ever accomplished. The rest of Europe isn't great, and the situation is getting so bad that all their High Income people are moving, and automobile sales in general have collapsed to the extent that more and more European factories will be closing.

· · 5 years ago

Bill, I do not really get your understanding of Police State. If US is such a safe place to live why you need to defend yourself? US has simply so many plugin enthusiasts as the population there is mostly ancestors of the most entrepeneurial europeans who dared to look for opportunities on the other side of Atlantic. More stagnant and oldfashioned remained in UK and as you correctly tell, it shows. Sorry to say, but pearls of automotive industry come from Europe, but I'm really happy that Ford and GM have jumped into Toyotas territory of green cars and soon can be leaders there. Depending on the speed of Freemont factory I will be owner of my first American car! Can't wait it!

· · 5 years ago


The US of A is changing. Britain is just much further ahead than we are down the road to Tyranny.

The biggest terrorist organization world wide has always been government. Its called Democide. Death By Government. Think of Mao, Stalin, Hitler. 295 million civilians were killed in the 20th century. There is no indication this number is going down.

No less than the Father of our country, George Washington, had this to say on the subject:

: “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

Most people think our government would never be so diabolical as to have to worry about that. Investigate Waco, and see how a Delta Force team used a Hyperbaric Bomb to instantly kill dozens, including children. Then of course we have Obama's crockodile tears regarding school shootings, which always have a pharmacutical addict as the core of the problem; whilst he sheds no tears for the hundreds of children he regularly kills with his ordered Drone attacks in Pakistan, Somolia, and Yemen. And of course we have Madeline Albright (Clinton's Secretary of State) saying on CBS's 60 minutes that 500,000 children dying from Iraq sanctions was 'worth it'.

As far as American Cars go, as far as production cars go, the most American one is Tesla. GM is rapidly turning into China Motors, what with 11 new plants and engineering design centers popping up there. Ford is no longer very American, and Chrysler is increasingly Fiat-owned.

The cars with the greatest American assembly are HyundaKia, Nissan, and the European makers, along with some Toyotas.

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