Written evidence from Mr Anthony McClennon (ELV0012)


I have responded against the various points noted in the call for evidence.

However, to summarise my observations:

From my responses, you will gather that I am not as yet convinced to purchase an EV as a replacement for my current vehicle – I await improvements to vehicle affordability, range, and far more charging locations before I do reconsider.


The following questions are intended to provide guidance for those who wish to offer their views. It is not necessary to answer all the questions, please only respond to those that are relevant to your experiences or expertise.



Government approaches




1. What are the main obstacles to the achievement of the Government’s 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates? Are the phase-out dates realistic and achievable? If not, what steps should the Government take to make the phase-out dates achievable?

It appears that there is no co-ordinated approach to the impending phase out dates, not only for cars and vans, but also phasing out of gas boilers and replacement with Heat Source Air Pumps that will put a further burden on the electrical supply.



2. Do the 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates serve their purpose to incentivise the development of an EV market in the UK? To what extent are car makers focusing on one date or the other? What are the impacts of the deadlines on the ability of the UK supply chain to benefit and how could the Government seek to further support the development of the UK EV industry? Would the introduction of a plan with key dates and timescales support the development of the EV industry in the UK?

I wouldn’t say so. There is so much uncertainty with the purchase of an EV (cost, range, charging points) that people like myself who are considering changing their current vehicle are still looking to buy a petrol/diesel vehicle, or hybrid variant of these.


Any plan would have to address the above issues, as well as the overarching requirement for an increase in power capacity.


With regard to a plan with key dates, we have all seen how these can be slipped and/or quietly dropped, so I would have no faith in anything that was published by the Government.



3. What specific national policies, regulations or initiatives have been successful, or have hindered, EV adoption to date? Are these policies or initiatives fit for purpose?




4. Given that the Government should apply a behavioural lens to policy—which involves people making changes to their everyday lives, such as what they purchase and use—is there a role for clearer communication of the case for EVs from the Government? If so, who should take the lead on delivering that?

Any case would have to address incentives to invest in an EV. TBH, I recall that there was an initiative that all coaches had to be PSVAR compliant back around 2016 (I think), yet this deadline kept being put back much to the annoyance of operators who had already bought new PSVR compliant vehicles.

Unfortunately, I can foresee that come 2030, the target dates will slip and keep slipping, due to lack of infrastructure for EVs.



5. What is your view on the accuracy of the information in the public domain relating to EVs and their usage?

Variable – for every article extolling the virtues of EVs, there is one that counters it.


Another example is that EVs are better for the environment but only at the point of emission. What about emissions from producing electricity, as I’m sure that we sill still be having to rely on gas powered generation for sometime after 2030. And what about the environmental costs of producing EVs – the damage done by lithium mining for example? I have read that it will take 100,000 miles of motoring in an EV until it becomes environmentally efficient.



6. What are the overall environmental benefits that would result from achieving the 2030 and 2035 targets?

The well publicised lowering of carbon and other emissions…..BUT only if the UK can also introduce green generated electricity. I suspect that we will still be using fossil fuels to generate electricity beyond these timescales.



7. What are the likely costs that will be faced by consumers as a result of the Government’s phase-out dates for non-zero emissions vehicles? Are there policies or initiatives that the Government could use to specifically target barriers arising from unpredictable costs to the consumer, for example significant fluctuations in the cost of electricity, changes to road taxes, or the introduction of low emission zones?

Financial cost of purchasing an EV, increase of time when undertaking long journeys due to range issues and availability of charging points.


As an example, I am looking to replace my current vehicle (2015 Mondeo 2.0L diesel), which can take me in excess of 500 miles on a single tank of fuel.

There is currently no pure EV that can return this range on a single charge, and even for those managing 300 mile range, the cost of purchasing an almost new vehicle are double the amount I am looking to spend.


The vehicles that I could afford only offer between 150 and 180 miles range, so I wouldn’t be able to drive between my home town of Wigan and London without having to stop to recharge – which assumes I can find a charging point available instantly (and not out of service or awaiting for the power supply to be upgraded) and there is no queue.



EV Market and Acquiring an EV




These questions relate to the UK EV market and uptake of EVs by UK consumers.



8. What are the main routes for acquiring an EV? Which aspects of these routes are working well, and which aspects could be improved?

Most dealers can offer EV options, but again, it is the cost of both new and used EVs that are prohibitive to a large number of drivers.



9. What are the main consumer barriers to acquiring an EV, either through purchasing, leasing, or other routes?

Other than cost, none. However, as I have previously noted, issues over range and en-route charging availability will move people away from EVs.



10. How is the Government helping to ensure that EVs are affordable and accessible for consumers, and are these approaches fit for purpose?

They are not. Even when grants were available, they do not cover the variance between petrol/diesel and electric models.



11. Do you think the range of EVs on offer in the UK is sufficient to meet market needs? Which segments are under-served and why? Why is the UK market not seeing low cost EVs, particularly in comparison to China?

No - what we need are budget vehicles with far better range.


What I would have liked to see is the role that hybrid vehicles could play in helping to reduce emissions. Granted, they would not be as effective at the point of emission, but from my (limited) experience of driving hybrid vehicles on varied routes, I tended to find that they utilised battery power when in urban areas, and the engine when operating at high speed. This also took away issues over “range anxiety”, and there were no issued with having to find working and available EV chargers.



12. What is the future role of L-segment and personal light electric vehicles, and how will that impact car ownership and usage? What is inhibiting their uptake?




13. What is your assessment of the current second-hand EV market? How is the second-hand EV market projected to develop between now and the phase out dates?

The second-hand market for petrol/diesel vehicles seems to have been substantially supported by Car Rental companies, who regularly change vehicles after 6-12 months thereby ensuring a constant supply.


Since covid, this has changed as these companies are operating with far fewer vehicles. In addition, neither of the two rental companies that my employer use for rental vehicles offer EVs as yet, and I cannot see this changing.


There is also a further concern about battery life, as the efficiency will decrease over time, thereby further reducing range.



14. What is the relationship between EV leasing and the second-hand market and how do they interrelate?

I suspect that business leasing will eventually start to release additional second hand capacity to the EV market, but as I noted above, car rental businesses appear not to be embracing EVs at present.



15. What barriers are there to achieving a sufficient supply of second-hand EVs, mindful that second-hand vehicles make up a high proportion of all vehicles purchased?




16. What is the value and role of alternative transport models such as car clubs and micro mobility vehicles in the Government achieving the 2030 phase out date, and how should the Government consider their roles and opportunities for use in transport decarbonisation?

Fine if you happen to live in a large town or city. I suspect that these will be most beneficial where a city (i.e. London) has a high transient population, and together with LEZ/ ULEZs, it makes use of public transport a normal behaviour and usage of a car a rarity, which can be catered for by car clubs etc.



17. Are consumers charged higher rates of insurance for an EV when compared to an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, and if so, are these higher rates justified? Can the Government do anything to mitigate this?

It can be justified on the basis that a like for like EV will cost significantly more to purchase than an ICE vehicle, and that repairs will be more complex, and components more expensive.



Experience of using an EV




18. What are the main challenges that UK consumers face in their use of EVs?

None myself, but as noted previously, affordability, challenges with range, availability of en-route charging facilities, and reducing battery life/range.



19. What are the main benefits that UK consumers could realise from using an EV?




20. How prepared are car dealerships, service networks, repairs and maintenance organisations, breakdown services and aftermarket suppliers to meet the growing EV uptake?




21. How does the charging infrastructure for EVs need to develop to meet the 2030 target? Does the UK need to adopt a single charging standard (e.g., the Combined Charging System (CCS)) or is there room in the market for multiple charger types?

It is pointless having multiple charger types, as this will further exacerbate the ability to provide sufficient charging points. If such an option was available, unless each charging point was configured to accept every variant of charger, there will be much less charging capacity available and hence more time wasted by drivers.


Looking at things very simply, I considered that fully refuelling an ICE car will take around 5 minutes. In theory, this gives each fuel pump an hourly throughput of 12 vehicles.


To achieve the same 100% “fill” an EV will require around an hour at the charger, so immediately 12 times more charging points that petrol/diesel may be required.

However, as this will never happen, if only six chargers are installed for every fuel pump, there will be significant queues forming.


And it may be fine saying that you can charge elsewhere, but not if you have already tried several charging areas and are down to your last few miles of range, or the charger(s) at your hotel car park is/are already occupied.




22. The Government recently published the draft legislation of “Public Charge Point Regulations 2023”. What assessment have you made of the draft legislation text, and what contribution will it make in ensuring the charging experience is standardized and reliable for consumers?

Not read this.



23. What assessment do you make of the requirements set out in the draft legislation of “Public Charge Point Regulations 2023” for charge point operators to make data free and publicly available, and how may this improve the EV charging experience for consumers?




24. In terms of charging infrastructure, are there unique barriers facing consumers in areas of low affluence and/or multi-occupancy buildings, such as shared housing or high-rise flats? Do you consider public EV charging points to be accessible and equitable compared to home-charging points? What can be done to improve accessibility and equitability?

Unfortunately, what people need is somewhere they can easily charge vehicles within reach of their home.

As I note in my response to 21, it will be impossible to ensure that users of public charging points can access them as they need them – I can’t see drivers being happy at having to wait several hours at a charging point as they have no other option.

What may be required is some form of queuing system at charging points, so that drivers are not left frustrated when other users “jump the queue” (it also happens at petrol stations), or providing a pre-booking option that will only provide charging once the users id is verified.



25. Is there a financial benefit to the consumer of choosing an EV over an ICE vehicle? Are there further benefits, aside from financial, that a consumer may gain from EV use?

Not for myself, nor indeed most private users.



End of life disposal of EVs




26. What options are there for consumers for end-of-life management of batteries and EVs, and what impact does this have on consumer attitudes towards buying an EV?

And this is another major issue – whilst the batteries may have reached end of life after say 10 years, does this mean it will be more cost effective to scrap the entire vehicle?


At least with ICE vehicles, if the engine fails, it is possible to pick up a reconditioned replacement at reasonable costs. With battery power, buying secondhand may result in significant depleted range, always assuming that the UK will develop the capacity to recycle batteries.



27. What are the current regulations and responsibilities of disposal and recycling for EVs, and how effective are they? How much of the battery can be recycled from a technical standpoint, and how much of that is economically feasible?




28. Is there a risk that the residual value of EVs may be lower than the value of the EV as a source of recoverable critical minerals, and how might this effect the flow of EVs into the second-hand market?

Yes – you only have to look at recent supply chain issues for conductors etc in various industries to see the impact of lack of supply of raw materials and/or basic components.



National and regional issues




29. What are the challenges or concerns around grid capacity in relation to significantly increased EV adoption?

I refer back to my response at 1. Last winter, we had the power companies warning of potential power cuts….and this is without significant uptake of EVs, let alone Heat Source Air Pumps.

And as also previously noted, I have seen reports of a number of locations where EV charging has been installed, but the power networks are unable to provide the upgraded supply in a timely manner – this will only get worse.



30. What is the role of distribution network operators in ensuring EV infrastructure can be rolled out sufficiently to meet 2030 target?

It does not appear that the Government has considered this in detail when rolling out all these “strategies”.



31. What are the requirements, challenges or opportunities for the development of public charge point delivery across the UK? How will the development of EV charging infrastructure in the UK interact with existing planning regulations?

Planning appears to be a major problem with provision of on-street charging.


And as I have noted previously, there is an issue with drivers being able to access charging facilities when they need to – I personally would not want to be having to drive around in the early hours of the morning to find a free EV charging point!



32. What are the issues facing rural residents, urban residents, and sub-urban residents and how do they differ?

For rural residents, power capacity may be an issue.


In both urban and suburban environments, high density buildings may well require multiple charging points to service residents.



33. What role do you see local authorities playing in the delivering the 2030 phase out target, particularly in relation to planning regulations, charge points and working with District Network Operators? How can government best support local authorities in their roles?




International perspectives




34. What are the successful approaches to the rollout and uptake of EVs in other countries, and what can the UK learn from these cases?

If you will excuse my rambling here, I recall that when the Central London LEZ was first introduced, public transport was significantly enhanced in advance so that people had a viable alternative.


In direct contrast, the forced introduction of EVs has no such enhancement to the infrastructure as we are still woefully short on EV charging points, and there are concerns over the ability to provide sufficient power.


As you may have gathered from my responses, I will not be rushing out to purchase an EV in the near future!!!