“Car manufacturers have a binding target for the proportion of zero-emission vehicles that we sell. I think it would be useful to have binding targets for infrastructure roll-out.
“If you’re providing an infrastructure for the national take-up of an environmentally beneficial product, then there’s going to have to be some level of intervention to make sure there’s a ubiquity to the charging infrastructure.”
Smith also supported growing calls for a cut in the VAT rate of public charging from 20% to match the 5% that home charging attracts.
However, Smith believes that there’s a “disproportionate amount of thought and concern” given to public charging, as 90% of charging of Volkswagen Group EVs is done at home.
Smith was happy with the Volkswagen Group’s EV performance in the UK, having secured a 20% market share for them in 2023.
Of the one million EVs sold in the UK so far, around 160,000 are Volkswagen Group models, so the firm’s market share is growing.
In 2023, 16% of the company’s sales were EVs, and Smith said it was the intention to comply with the 22% of sales needed this year to hit the ZEV mandate.