An electric Iveco Daily

A new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been set up to boost awareness of the benefits and opportunities of electric and automated vehicles.

The cross-party group wants to ensure the UK is able to support growth in new technology and innovation post-Brexit.

Chaired by Conservative MP Dame Cheryl Gillan (former Secretary of State for Wales), the group will focus on vehicle advancement, infrastructure roll out, manufacturing opportunities, international trade, emissions reduction and boosting road safety.

While the APPG launch announcement focuses on the rapid growth of electric car sales and major investment planned by automotive manufacturers,  a spokesman for the APPG in Electric and Automated Vehicles told MT the group is very keen to explore the opportunities for the freight sector.

Shifting focus

Gillan said: “It is imperative that parliamentarians are aware of the rapid pace of change in the electric and automated vehicle sectors and that post-Brexit the UK is well positioned to benefit from these new technologies.

“We can’t let this major industrial shift pass us by while everybody is focused on EU negotiations. We will aim to keep MPs and Lords informed and help drive the agenda forwards.”

Matthew Trevaskis, head of electric vehicles at the Renewable Energy Association, the APPG’s secretariat, said: “This historic industrial shift is creating major new opportunities to decarbonise our transport sector, improve air quality, and reduce consumer bills.”

The group's vice-chairs include former coalition government transport minister Baroness Kramer (LibDem), Andrew Selous MP (Con), a member of the Health Select Committee, Anna McMorrin MP (Lab), a member of the Environmental Audit Committee.

Other members of the group include former energy secretary Sir Ed Davey MP (Lib Dem), Mark Pawsey MP (Con) a member of the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee, and Nigel Evans MP (Con), a member of the International Trade Committee.

The next event of the APPG, on grid infrastructure, will take place in the House of Commons on 1 March. Interested parties can email the REA to request a place to attend.