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Compulsory charge points for electric vehicles outlined in Queen's Speech

Volkswagen has unveiled the all-electric minibus of the future
Emily Beament, Press Association Environment Correspondent

Motorway services and major petrol station chains will be required to install charge points for electric vehicles to help ensure the UK is a "world leader in new industries", the British government said.

Measures in a bill on automated and electric vehicles announced in the Queen's Speech will also support the invention, design and use of driverless cars.

The bill will allow the government to require the installation of charge points for electric vehicles at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers, and to require a set of common technical and operational standards for the technology.

It will also extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles, to ensure compensation claims continue to be paid quickly, fairly and easily, the government said.

Driverless cars are seen as having the potential to significantly reduce road traffic accidents, with 85.7% of reported collisions in 2015 that caused personal injury accidents in Britain involving human error.

Local air pollution and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions from UK transport - which have remained largely static over the past 25 years - are prompting moves to support electric vehicles.

But concerns linger over cost, the distance a battery electric car can drive before it needs recharging, and the availability of charging points.

Some 100,000 vehicles in the UK have been bought with help from a government plug-in car grant for electric vehicles, and 13,800 ultra-low emissions vehicles were registered in the first quarter of 2017 - up 17% for the same period in 2016.

The UK is the largest market for electric vehicles in the EU, while one in five electric cars sold in the EU last year was made in the UK.

The government said it was committed to spending £600 million during this Parliament to support the ultra-low emissions' market and a further £270 million was announced in the autumn statement last year.

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