Electric and Hybrid Electric Cars

Part of Olympic Games: Doping – in Westminster Hall at 5:02 pm on 6th July 2016.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality) 5:02 pm, 6th July 2016

It is a pleasure to speak in this debate and I congratulate Neil Parish on securing it. He does excellent work in the other Committees that he chairs and it is good to know that he is also knowledgeable about electric cars.

In the very short time that I have, I will make a few comments. The global race to get ahead in the hybrid car game is really heating up. An example of that, as the hon. Gentleman said, is the hydrogen car that we had here just the week before last. I believe that there is an incentive from competition when it comes to performance of such cars and their price.

Let me take a few examples from the continent to show what other countries are doing in the race to consolidate the electric and hybrid cars industry. Some of them are from the EU; I have to say that I am glad that we are out of the EU, but I know that we cannot ignore the very important things that are happening within the EU. The German Government are giving a €1 billion subsidy to boost electric cars. There is a €4,000 incentive for each electric car, with a €3,000 incentive for a plug-in hybrid car. At present, there are 50,000 electric cars in Germany, but they hope to increase that figure. German automotive companies such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW have signed up to a programme that is open to all German brands and foreign brands.

The Netherlands is another country that has done a lot, although I have to say, in all honesty, that some have perhaps been a bit extreme. They were trying to vote through a motion calling on the country to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars, starting in 2025. That has not succeeded—at long last there is some sense when it comes to passing legislation—but the fact that they were considering that is an indication of how far they are prepared to take these matters.

Record numbers of electric vehicles continue to be sold in the UK year on year. In the last five years, more than 60,000 plug-in models have been registered. I say this to the Minister: credit where credit is due. The Government’s “Go Ultra Low” scheme estimates that by 2027 electric-powered cars could dominate the market. I am not entirely convinced by that, but that is what the stats seem to indicate, with some 1.3 million sold every year. If that is the case and if that is what the Government are aiming at, it would be good news.