Government launches ‘Road to Zero’ strategy to reduce vehicle emissions

The government has laid out plans for ‘at least half of new cars to be ultra low emission by 2030’, as part of its new ‘Road to Zero’ strategy announced yesterday.

The strategy explains how the government intends to meet its ultimate goal of banning new petrol & diesel vehicles by 2040. Low emission diesel and hybrid vehicles will play a role in the eventual shift over to fully-electric cars. The government wants the UK to be ‘the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle’.

More charging points

The government wants to see charging points built into all new street lights, new homes and other buildings such as offices. £400 million will be poured into expanding the existing charging infrastructure, putting more charging points in public spaces and service stations.

The strategy also mentions a £40 million fund for developing new charging technologies.

charging points
The government wants to see a massive expansion of the public charging network. Image source.

Financial incentives

The plan admits that electric and low-emission vehicles are still relatively expensive, and outlines a number of financial incentives for people to take up green vehicles – including the extension of the plug-in car grant, possibly as far as 2020.

There will also be a £500 incentive for EV owners to install a charging point in their own home, with similar grants for workplaces.

Hybrid cars will not be banned

BMW i8
Hybrid cars such as the BMW i8 (pictured) will not be banned after 2040

In a move that has been praised by the motor industry, hybrid cars will not be banned after 2040.

Jim Holder, editorial director of What Car? magazine, told the Press Association the government was “starting to listen to the automotive industry’s concerns”.

“The fear was that the government would force the uptake of full electric vehicles – something that the car-buying public have yet to show an interest in… Instead, this news gives the freedom for a more phased uptake of technologies, including part-electric hybrids, as well as the option for alternative power sources to emerge, such as hydrogen.”

Working with the energy industry

The ‘Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce’ will be created to get the energy and automotive industries talking to each other to plan for huge increase in demand for electricity and infrastructure.

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.”

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