Unfortunately knocked down the news agenda by cabinet resignations over Brexit, on Monday 9 July 2018, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled the government’s Road to Zero strategy for cleaner road transport.
The target is to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. There’s also a target for 70% of new cars sold to be Ultra Low Emission (ULEV) by 2030, leaving the door ajar for some conventional petrol and diesel models.
Other headline-grabbing proposals include the introduction of street lights with built-in electric vehicle (EV) charging points, and a requirement for new-build homes to have EV charging facilities.
Describing it as “one of the most comprehensive support packages for zero-emission vehicles in the world”, Mr Grayling said: “The prize is not just a cleaner and healthier environment, but a UK economy fit for the future and the chance to win a substantial slice of a market estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion by 2050.”
The eagerly anticipated strategy was broadly welcomed by motoring groups and trade associations.
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents UK car dealers, said: “It is encouraging to see that the Government endorsed the automotive industry’s position, that the most appropriate vehicle technology will depend on individual circumstances, including location and usage pattern.
“We are pleased to see that the Government is continuing to use vehicle excise duty (VED) as an incentive to adopt low emission vehicles. However, the NFDA believes that the VED system is in need of further review, especially with regard to diesel.”
Ian Plummer, director at Auto Trader, added: “The switch to electric will require a wholesale shift in public mind-set, and for that we need a significant boost of supply side factors to build consumer confidence in electric and hybrid models.”
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