The Gosport MP, recently named Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, made the comments as she visited a Hampshire petrol station that has installed electric vehicle (EV chargers).
“We’re in a real chicken and egg situation when it comes to cleaning up the UK’s toxic air problem,” she said. “We know that swapping older, more polluting cars for electric vehicles will help to reduce toxic air. But we can’t expect motorists to buy electric cars unless there’s the infrastructure there to charge them.”
The Conservative MP visited a petrol station in her constituency today to find out how private companies are working together to tilt the balance.
Fast-growing Hampshire firm InstaVolt has installed two rapid chargers at Lee-on-the-Solent Service Station, enabling drivers to take their EV from 0 to 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes. The company’s installing thousands of others across the UK at places like gyms and council car parks.
Oli Lodge, managing director of Rusdene Services, which owns and operates the petrol station in Broom Way, says petrol stations should be gearing up for electric cars now.
He said: “We didn’t want to bury our heads in the sand and wait until it was too late to adapt. Not a day goes by without another announcement pointing towards electric cars being the future so we were keen to move quickly and become part of the country’s charging infrastructure.”
Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, added: “Sales of electric vehicles are on the rise, with record market share for plug-in cars in December. Caroline is absolutely right when she says we need to create a reliable charging infrastructure to encourage more people to go electric and, ultimately, help improve air quality in the UK. That’s why companies like ours are working day and night to install thousands of chargers all over the country.”
The InstaVolt chargers at Lee-on-the-Solent are available for electric vehicle drivers to use on a subscription free, pay-as-you-go basis. Motorists simply tap their contactless credit or debit card, charge-up and go. Users are charged only for the electricity they use on a per-unit basis. There is no connection fee, minimum charge or monthly subscription fee.
Like all InstaVolt chargers, they were installed for free and Lee-on-the-Solent Service Station won’t have to pay a penny for them. In fact, it will make a rental income for housing them on its land.
Caroline added: “It’s great to see two local companies coming together to make our roads an even easier place to drive an electric vehicle.”