£3.6bn pledge to boost electric cars and charging points

The Labour party will build a national network of charging points for electric vehicles at a cost of £3.6bn to spark a planned “green industrial revolution” if elected.

The roll-out of rapid-charging stations on motorways and urban streets would be enough for more than 21m cars in the next decade, the party said.

It would also remove one of the biggest obstacles to electric car ownership and create 3,000 skilled jobs for electricians and engineers.

Labour would also offer interest-free loans for electric vehicles, with the measures together forecast to ensure electric cars make up two-thirds of the total UK fleet by 2030.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, said the initiative would drastically reduce air pollution as well as greenhouse gases.

Transport has overtaken energy generation as the biggest single source of UK carbon emissions, as more electricity now comes from renewable sources and coal is phased out.

But the uptake of electric vehicles has slowed, in part because of the government’s removal of subsidies that made them cheaper.

The new measures are also calculated to throw a lifeline to the under-pressure car industry, which has been hit by poor sales.

Labour’s central policy for reviving the UK’s economic fortunes and providing high-quality jobs, as well as protecting against climate chaos.

Long-Bailey said: “We saw that there could be an economic opportunity where we could rebuild economies, particularly in the industrialised towns that had been left behind for many decades, and provide hope for the future.

“By tackling the climate crisis we’re actually going to make people’s lives better, to provide their children and grandchildren with the jobs and the industry for the future.”

The investment required will come from the £250bn national transformation fund planned by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, a “large proportion” of which will go directly to the green industrial revolution.

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