The government has confirmed its ambition to see at least half of new cars to be ultra low emission by 2030 as part of plans to make the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle. The proposals are outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy, which sets out plans to enable a massive expansion of green infrastructure across the country, reduce emissions from the vehicles already on the UK’s roads, and drive the uptake of zero emission cars, vans and trucks. Together, the measures will put the UK at the forefront of a global revolution in motoring and help to deliver cleaner air, a better environment and a strong clean economy. The Road to Zero Strategy will help the government to achieve key elements of its modern Industrial Strategy — leading the industries of the future and building the UK’s competitiveness in the face of major global economic trends.
And the government will further look to prepare for and capitalise on the opportunities which will arise from the profound changes in how people, goods and services move around the country through its ‘Future of mobility grand challenge’. As set out in the government’s Air quality plan, the UK will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. The Road to Zero Strategy will build on this commitment and outlines how government will work with industry to support achieving this. Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “The coming decades are going to be transformative for our motor industry, our national infrastructure and the way we travel. We expect to see more change in the transport sector over the next 10 years than we have in the previous century. “The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution - ensuring that the UK has cleaner air, a better environment and a stronger economy.” The government‘s mission, as part of the modern Industrial Strategy, is to put the UK at the forefront of an industry that is estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion per year by 2050. The Road to Zero Strategy is technology neutral and does not speculate on which technologies might help to deliver the government’s 2040 mission. The government has no plan to ban any particular technology - like hybrids - as part of this strategy. The government has already committed to investing £1.5 billion in ultra low emission vehicles by 2020 and the Road to Zero Strategy outlines a number of ambitious measures including:
a push for chargepoints to be installed in newly built homes, where appropriate, and new lampposts to include charging points, potentially providing a massive expansion of the plug-in network
the launch of a £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to help accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure by providing funding to new and existing companies that produce and install charge points. The request for proposal to appoint a fund manager will be launched in the summer
creating a new £40 million programme to develop and trial innovative, low cost wireless and on-street charging technology
providing up to £500 for electric vehicle owners to put in a charge point in their home through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. And an increase in the value of grants available to workplaces to install chargepoints so people can charge when they are at work
the extension of the Plug-In Car and Van Grants to at least October 2018 at current rates, and in some form until at least 2020, allowing consumers to continue to make significant savings when purchasing a new electric vehicle
the launch of an Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce to bring together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the increase in demand on energy infrastructure that will result from a rise in the use of electric vehicles
A spokesperson from the Alliance of British Drivers said:
“The ABD welcomes so called 'weakening' of the government's stance against petrol and diesel engines. Despite much media hype the vast majority of petrol and diesel cars that do significant mileages are clean modern vehicles.
“Car emissions are a tiny and fast diminishing part of overall pollution which comes from many sources in modern life including many that originate in our modern insulated homes.
“Much of the recent hype has resulted from hysterical claims of 'multiple premature deaths' from pollution. The clue is in the word 'premature' and actual number of hours or days that a life is supposedly shortened by are never stated.
“The truth is that if we stopped all industry, all heating, all trade and all transport there would still be pollution from natural sources. We may live a few extra hours from the cleaner air but would die from cold and malnutrition far earlier instead.
“We need to remind ourselves that whilst there may be minimal negative trade offs from modern living, the benefits outweigh these many fold. Some common sense needs to return to the table.”