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Labour's vision for motoring: EV investment, road repairs, and ICE ban reinstatement

By Mathilda Bartholomew | June 13, 2024

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Keir Starmer announced that Labour will reinstate the original 2030 ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, invest £1.5 billion in building automotive gigafactories, and improve Britain's deteriorating roads.

Labour's vision for motoring: EV investment, road repairs, and ICE ban reinstatement

The Labour Party has unveiled its plans for the UK's automotive industry in its 2024 general election manifesto.

Keir Starmer announced that Labour will reinstate the original 2030 ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, invest £1.5 billion in building automotive gigafactories, and improve Britain's deteriorating roads. However, he avoided commenting on whether they would reverse the ongoing fuel duty cut.

Labour, following a recommendation from the cross-party Business and Trade Committee, has pledged to invest £1.5 billion of public funds into creating electric car gigafactories, similar to the one being developed in Somerset by Tata Motors, the owner of Jaguar-Land Rover. According to the party's manifesto, this investment aims to attract an additional £4.5 billion from the private sector and safeguard up to 160,000 jobs.

In line with their focus on electric vehicles (EVs), Labour also promises to restore the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, overturning the delay implemented by the Conservative government.

Their ‘Plan for Drivers’ includes speeding up the rollout of public charging stations by offering local authorities better guidance on charge point locations and fund utilisation.

Unlike the Liberal Democrats, Labour hasn't committed to reinstating the plug-in vehicle grant to encourage private EV purchases, which currently lag behind business purchases. Instead, Labour plans to support used EV buyers by standardising information on battery conditions, potentially introducing EV battery passports to track the materials used and the battery’s health and capacity.

While Labour focuses on expanding the UK's EV fleet, they haven't detailed any specific changes for petrol and diesel drivers. When asked by Sky News' political editor Beth Rigby about reversing the 5p fuel duty cut, Starmer sidestepped the question, affirming only that Labour wouldn't increase income tax, national insurance, or VAT.

Labour also plans to urge the Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate high insurance prices and whether postcode pricing unfairly targets ethnic minorities and low-income individuals.

Additionally, Labour intends to allocate £320 million (£64 million annually) to local pothole repairs, aiming to fix one million potholes a year. The party also plans to reform the planning system to expedite road construction and introduce a revised ‘Strategic Framework for Road Safety’.

Labour's manifesto launch is part of a week of major party announcements, following the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and Green Party unveiling their election promises earlier this week. Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party is expected to release its manifesto on Monday.

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