Petrol, diesel and even hybrid vehicles could be banned from some parking spots in a £12million scheme to boost electric cars.
Ministers are thinking of giving councils the power to create green-coloured parking spaces that prioritise zero-emission vehicles.
It comes after the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps approved plans for green number plates that could also let electric drivers use bus lanes.
Motoring groups welcomed the commitment to zero emissions but warned that drivers who can’t afford the high upfront cost of going electric will be penalised.
Ministers are thinking of giving councils the power to create green-coloured parking spaces that prioritise zero-emission vehicles. Pictured: Stock image
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘While the sight of green parking spaces for priority parking could be an alluring prospect for some to go electric, it’s probably unlikely to be the strong trigger the Government wants to get more of us opting for an EV.’
He added: ‘Drivers continue to tell us that the biggest barrier to them opting for an electric car over one fuelled by petrol or diesel is the upfront cost.
‘The price of running an electric car is much lower than a petrol or diesel one – but people need to be able to afford them in the first place.’
Howard Cox of the pressure group FairFuelUK took a harder line on the parking plans, declaring: ‘The demonisation of diesel and petrol has reached a new sour level. If you pay no road vehicle user tax, you could now have your own dedicated parking spot, served up in green by the council.
‘This is not saving the planet, this is virtue signalling on a gargantuan scale with the world’s highest-taxed motorists, as usual, picking up the tab.’
The Department for Transport, meanwhile, is investigating technology that can charge electric vehicles in just six minutes, addressing concerns among drivers over lengthy down-times.
It comes after the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps approved plans for green number plates that could also let electric drivers use bus lanes. Pictured: Stock image
The ambitious plans form part of a drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to banning sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.
Mr Shapps seemed to brush aside cost concerts, saying: ‘Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle.’
And business and industry minister Nadhim Zahawi added: ‘From multi-million investments in electric vehicle charging points to consulting on ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, we’re making certain that the future of UK transport is green.’
But industry leaders insist the 2035 target is over-ambitious.
Last week the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warned that the Government is on course to miss the deadline and that £17billion will be required to get a charging network ready for a mass electric market, with more than 500 new charge points needed every day until 2035.
It is campaigning for tax relief on zero-emission vehicles and a long-term commitment to ‘plug-in grants’ which would cut the cost of a standard electric car from the current starting point of around £30,000 to £24,500.
The SMMT believes this would boost sales by 2.4million over the next five years.
The news comes amid concerns that many drivers are not prepared to switch to electric.
An SMMT poll revealed that just 10 per cent plan to buy an electric vehicle in the next 12 months.