UK: New Road to Zero Strategy to decarbonise transport


At long last – the British government has specified plans to decarbonise the country. Their Road to Zero Strategy affirms to ban all sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2040 but averts calls that asked to move said target forward. There is a new a mid-term goal however.

Westminster has made a few steps to accelerate phasing out ICE sales a little sooner. While the 2040 target remains in tact, they new Road to Zero Strategy specifies that by 2030, at least half of all newly registered cars and 40 percent of new vans must classify as “ultra low emission”.

The SMMT specifies said ULEVs as follows: the vehicle uses low carbon technologies, emits less than 75g of CO2/km from the tailpipe and is capable of operating in zero tailpipe emission mode for a range of at least ten miles.

Additional measures to further promote the transition to zero emission transport mainly revolve around charging infrastructure.

New houses as well as lamp post shall be equipped with charging points, “where appropriate”, although it is unclear what qualifies them as appropriate or inappropriate in that matter. In any case, homeowners may claim up to 500 pounds when installing charging points privately.

In addition, the government will earmark 400 million pounds as a fund for companies developing and installing charging infrastructure.

Another 40 million pounds will go into the research and testing of cost efficient inductive charging technology.

For direct electric car subsidies, the government confirmed the current position which is an “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”.

The Road to Zero Strategy had long been awaited. In fact, political leaders like London Mayor Sadiq Khan and most recently industry leaders such as Shell CEO Ben van Buerden had called on Britain’s government to clarify and also strengthen their electric car policies. The new plan is not ambitious but half a step towards more decisive climate action.



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