All new homes in England will have to include electric vehicle (EV) charging points by law from next year, Boris Johnson has announced in a bizarre speech.
The move is being billed as part of a drive to phase out petrol and diesel cars in the country by 2035.
The Prime Minister also told supermarkets and workplaces to install charging points, alongside homes undergoing major renovations.
However, new build properties – where the installations will now become standard – make up a very small proportion of housing in the UK.
It is still hoped that the new laws will mean up to 145,000 new charging points will be made available every year – though the Government did not immediately clarify if the chargers would be required to meet particular standards, notably on charging times.
Announcing the new legislation in a speech to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference on Monday, Mr Johnson at one point impersonated an accelerating car, saying ‘broom, broom, brah, brah’, in a characteristically eccentric speech.
He was also briefly left lost for words when he appeared to lose his place in his notes, after telling a story about his recent visit to a Peppa Pig theme park.
Mr Johnson sighed and repeatedly said ‘forgive me’, having just said: ‘Yesterday I went, as we all must, to Peppa Pig World… Hands up anyone who has been to Peppa Pig World… I loved it. Peppa Pig World is very much my kind of place: it has very safe streets, discipline in schools.’
He told business delegates that the ‘tipping point has come’ in EV sales.
The Government has already announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end in the UK in 2030 – but some hybrids will be on the market for a further five years.
He told the conference: ‘We will require new homes and buildings to have EV charging points – with another 145,000 charging points to be installed thanks to these regulations.
‘We are investing in new projects to turn wind power into hydrogen and our net-zero strategy is expected to trigger about £90 billion of private sector investment, driving the creation of high wage high skilled jobs as part of our mission to unite and level up across the country.’
Downing Street branded the move ‘world-leading’ and said it hoped that charging an electric vehicle will become as easy as filling up with fuel.
Labour accused the Government of ‘failing Britain’s automotive companies and workers’ by failing to make the switch to electric vehicles affordable.
As well as new homes and non-residential buildings, those that carry out large scale renovations, and therefore have more than 10 parking spaces, will also need to install charging points.
The move comes after the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, where activists and experts accused the UK of not doing enough on the climate crisis, despite some initiatives winning praise.
Mr Johnson told the CBI conference that the UK can gain advantages from acting first to transform the global economy and transition to net zero.
In his speech, Mr Johnson added: ‘This is a pivotal moment, we cannot go on as we are.
‘We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.
‘We have to use our massive investment in science and technology and we have to raise our productivity and then we have to get out your way.
‘We must regulate less or better and take advantage of new freedoms.’
Woman, 35, who refused jab begged ‘please don’t let me die’ after catching Covid
But former climate change secretary Ed Miliband, now Labour’s shadow business secretary, said: ‘The government is failing Britain’s automotive companies and workers.
‘Rather than step up to support the car industry in the global race for green technologies, ministers have stepped back and left manufacturers, workers and the public on their own, failing to take the action necessary to make the switch affordable for families hit by a cost of living crisis.’
He added: ‘To back the car industry and create jobs, Labour would bring forward ambitious proposals to spark an electric vehicle revolution in every part of the country.
‘By extending the help to buy an electric car for those on lower and middle incomes and accelerating the roll-out of charging points in areas that have been left out, we would ensure that everyone could benefit and make the green transition fair.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.