The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for free parking for electric vehicles in an attempt to encourage UK drivers to switch to the more environmentally friendly mode of travel.
An article published by the Guardian this week, explains that the concept is similar to the existing blue badge scheme for disabled drivers. But the IPPR goes further than just advocating free parking. Other incentives such as reduced (or eliminated) road and bridge tolls, permission to drive in bus lanes and parking concessions in restricted zones will also be tabled in a report to be released later this month.
However it is this last point that has raised concerns with UK motoring lobby group, the AA. Their position is that allowing parking in restricted zones could in fact increase congestion and therefore emissions from other vehicles. The group did concede that cheaper parking charges would be a good idea (we are not sure if building owners’ or car park operators’ opinions were canvassed).
Similar schemes are being trialled around the world with China set to incentivise electric car ownership. Chinese newspaper, The Economic Observer reported this week that Beijing will introduce a series of new policies designed to accelerate uptake of electric cars including a 120,000 yuan subsidy and a way around the dreaded “licence plate lottery”.
It seems that the momentum for electric car sales will continue, yet as we have commented in number of previous posts on Wayfinding Forum, the biggest challenge for a successful future will be addressing the lack of charging stations, whether in Beijing, Melbourne or Chicago.