Government interest-free loans are expected to be made to help up to a million households buy electric cars over the next two years, according to shadow business secretary Ed Miliband.
In a speech on Thursday, Miliband will outline Labor’s plans for an “electric vehicle revolution” to promote a rapid increase in electric car adoption as the UK moves towards net zero carbon.
While Boris Johnson already pledged a “green industrial revolution” to create new jobs in old industrial estates, Labor is keen to stress that its own plans would be more radical.
Miliband will say that a Labor government:
co-finance three other gigafactories by 2025 to build batteries for electric vehicles;
finance interest-free loans for low- and middle-income households to help them meet the initial costs of purchasing an electric car;
accelerate the creation of recharging points, including in less well-served areas such as Yorkshire, the North West of England and the West Midlands.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently announced £ 20million to help fund new charging points as the government strives to meet its target of ending the sale of new cars and vans to gasoline and diesel by 2030 – but Labor believes the government is not acting fast enough. .
In opening remarks, Miliband said: “To support the auto industry and create jobs, Labor would come up with ambitious proposals to spark an electric vehicle revolution in all parts of the country.
“By extending the possibility of buying an electric car to low-income people and by accelerating the deployment of charging stations in areas that have been left out, we would make sure that everyone can benefit.”
The work estimates the cost to the government of every 100,000 new vehicles paid for via loans at £ 156million, and argues that the taxpayer should be prepared to fund up to 1million purchases over the next two years . Last year, 108,205 electric vehicles were sold, up 180% from a year earlier.
They argue it would help create new jobs in the industry by giving manufacturers certainty about future demand – and the funding should be part of a total £ 30bn investment in green jobs.
In his speech, Miliband will highlight the importance of tackling deep inequalities in the UK, while addressing the climate emergency.
Keir Starmer has repeatedly pointed out that addressing inequality is one of the political dividing lines between his party and the government, pointing out that some of the poorest households are those most at risk from the Covid pandemic. .
Miliband is expected to say, “What we cannot do is put a lick of green paint on our unequal and precarious economy. Every worker whose job might change, every consumer who might face a change in their pay, every person in this country must be at the center of our concerns. It’s the DNA of work: green and fair. Green and red together. “
Miliband is keen to show that the Labor Party remains as committed to the cause of environmentalism as it was under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Plans for a “green industrial revolution” were at the heart of the 2019 manifesto – a phrase since adopted by conservatives.
The government is hoping for success at the crucial Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, as Johnson attempts to rebuild the UK’s reputation as a collaborative global player in the aftermath of Brexit.
The climate is expected to be the order of the day when the G7 countries meet in June – a rally the Prime Minister hopes can be held in Cornwall, if coronavirus-related travel restrictions allow.