Electric vehicle charging points will an essential part of the region's infrastructure, says Montgomeryshire AM Russell George.

Earlier this month councillors and local people interested in electric vehicle infrastructure joined representatives from Powys County Council, local businesses and other individuals at a meeting with a representative from the Welsh Government's Department for Economy & Infrastructure to discuss opportunities to progress the growing need to increase the network of charging points for electric vehicles in Mid Wales.

Following the event in Newtown, Mr George said he was delighted to see the issue being taken seriously.

"The National Assembly for Wales' Economy & Infrastructure Committee, which I have the privilege to chair, has just concluded its inquiry on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It found that the Welsh Government has been slow in showing leadership on improving electric car charging infrastructure in Wales," he said.

"The emerging themes in the Committee's inquiry show that all parts of Wales, but particularly rural areas, could benefit greatly from increased electric car use, but that would require significant changes to the current power and road infrastructure.

"Some have suggested that Mid Wales is a "charging desert" and that the current infrastructure is insufficient in coping with existing demand not alone increased demand in the future.

"Therefore, assessing the gaps in the infrastructure and resolving these underlying issues will be essential if we are to eliminate barriers including range anxiety when potential users worry about their ability to complete a full journey and encourage a significant increase in electric vehicle usage in the future.

"I was pleased that the event which I hosted in Newtown to garner the views of local representatives and people in Montgomeryshire supported the committee's view that it is vital that the needs of rural Wales are not overlooked as electric vehicles become more commonplace."

Current statistics show that Wales has just 731 electric vehicle charging points, lower than any other UK region apart from Northern Ireland with 488.