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MP Bill Wiggin advocates Electric Vehicles during mobile summer surgery with Alphabet and BVRLA

posted on 14/08/2019

MP Bill Wiggin has been out and about his constituency this summer promoting electric vehicles as part of a mobile ‘summer surgery’ using an AlphaCity BMW i3, equipped with Alphabet’s vehicle sharing technology.

Pictured: David Jones (Communications Manager, Alphabet), Bill Wiggin MP, Marie Howes (Mobility Consultant, Alphabet), Paul Thompson (Government Affairs Manager, BVRLA)

MP for North Herefordshire, Bill Wiggin has been out and about this summer promoting the uptake and use of electric vehicles via an environmentally-conscious, mobile ‘summer surgery’ in his local constituency using an AlphaCity BMW i3, equipped with Alphabet’s vehicle sharing technology.

The MP won the opportunity for an extended trial of the electric vehicle during a ‘Road to Zero Report’ parliamentary reception hosted by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) earlier in the summer. BVRLA member, Alphabet (GB) Limited, one of the UK’s leading providers of electric vehicles to businesses and public sector organisations, provided the vehicle which was also equipped with its unique AlphaCity sharing technology which enables wider access to electric mobility.

Despite the Government’s high-profile ambitions for zero emission motoring, recent analysis within the BVRLA’s ‘Road to Zero Report Card 2019’ shows that issues with taxation, charge point infrastructure and vehicle availability are putting the brakes on UK electric vehicle registrations. Alphabet’s own consumer research earlier this year suggested that only one-in-five Brits had so far actually tried an electric vehicle.

Mr Wiggin is amongst nearly 50 MPs who have to date signed a letter to the Government urging it to speed up its progress in order to keep the promises made in the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy and to provide the necessary infrastructure and funding required to increase the usage and uptake of electric vehicles.

The AlphaCity BMW i3 Mr Wiggin is driving was supplied by vehicle leasing and mobility experts Alphabet, who manage over 138,000 cars and light commercial vehicles on Britain’s roads - nearly 10% of which are electrified - and advise businesses on integrating electric vehicles into their existing fleets through its ‘AlphaElectric’ service.

Speaking at the handover of the car, Bill Wiggin MP said,

“I’m delighted to support the BVRLA and Alphabet’s important work promoting the use of electric vehicles. The benefits of these vehicles are clear, they are cleaner and much more cost effective to run. The vehicle leasing, rental and car club sector offers the fastest way to get these new clean cars on the road, but the right incentives and infrastructure need to be in place.

“The BVRLA’s ‘Road to Zero Report Card’ has already demonstrated that the Government is behind on the targets it set itself in the Road to Zero Strategy. If the Government wants to have any chance of keeping its new promise to become ‘net zero’ by 2050, drastic action needs to be taken.

"We can't wait years for more action, the people of Herefordshire need the Government to act now to show them how seriously it takes clean air and reducing emissions.”

David Jones, Communications Manager from Alphabet added:

“We’re pleased to be working closely with the BVRLA on this as nearly 20% of the BVRLA’s electrified vehicles on UK roads are provided by Alphabet. Our research suggests the vast majority of the British public are yet to experience an electric vehicle for themselves. As mobility specialists, supporting this mobile summer surgery was an excellent way for us to demonstrate an electric vehicle in action for Mr Wiggin and his local communities around Herefordshire.

We’re keen to help businesses, organisations and Parliamentarians understand the opportunities, as well as practical challenges of living with an EV. We were especially keen to demonstrate our AlphaCity vehicle sharing technology because zero emission, shared vehicles are not simply an aspiration for the future, they’re a real-world application being utilised by organisations all over the UK today. ”

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the BVRLA explained,

“We are very grateful to Bill Wiggin MP for supporting our campaign to increase the uptake of electric vehicles. Our members currently purchase around a third of all new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold in the UK. Last year we pledged to go even further, with an ambition to see our members combined plug-in vehicle fleet size surge from 50,000 in 2018 to 720,000 by 2025. Achieving this pledge is only possible if we can secure the necessary support from the Government through forward thinking vehicle taxation, investment in charging infrastructure and adequate supply of the right vehicles.”

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