Government will offer further subsidies to support the roll-out of charging points for ultra low emission vehicles, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced today (9 July).
Launching the government’s ‘Road to Zero’ low emission vehicle strategy, Mr Grayling said that the policy would support improvements in air quality over the next two decades.
Road to Zero has been published to provide a route map towards the government’s aim to end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel-only cars and vans by 2040, by which point all new cars will be “effectively” zero emission.
Proposals outlined in the strategy include a push for chargepoints to be installed in newly built homes, as well as the launch of a £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to ‘accelerate; the roll out of charging infrastructure.
Elsewhere DfT has promised a new £40 million programme to develop and trial wireless and on-street charging technology and has committed to providing up to £500 for electric vehicle owners to put in a charge point in their home through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.
Launching the strategy in Stratford this morning, Mr Grayling 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.
“We are expecting our economy and society to experience profound change, which is why we have marked the future of mobility as one of the four grand challenges as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.
“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.”
Other policies outlined within the strategy include:
- Extending the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) beyond buses, coaches and HGVs to include vans and black cabs;
- Launching a call for evidence on particulate emissions from tyre, brake and road wear to improve our understanding of these emissions and consider options for how they might be reduced;
- Launching a second round of funding for local authorities to roll out dedicated taxi charging infrastructure;
- Setting out definitions of ultra low and zero emission vehicles that local areas may adopt;
- Pursuing a future approach as the UK leaves the European Union that is ‘at least as ambitious’ as the current arrangements for vehicle emissions regulation.
Launch of the strategy has been welcomed by the EV charging sector, with Chargemaster, the operator of the UK’s largest charging network leading the praise.
David Martell, the company’s chief executive, said: “We welcome the government’s continued support for electric vehicles, which are already enabling zero-emission motoring for over 150,000 drivers in the UK.
“We are very pleased to see the continued focus on supporting home charging, as well as an increase in the Workplace Charging Scheme, and a commitment to encourage the installation of charging infrastructure in new developments, which will cost less than retrofitting it in the future.”
However, some have questioned the level of ambition detailed within the strategy.
Sophie Power, chief executive of air quality technology firm Airlabs, said: “The Road to Zero strategy is flawed in many ways. Firstly, there is no such thing as a zero emissions vehicle. The plan mistakes zero tailpipe emission vehicles for zero emission vehicles. In fact, electric vehicles could have higher secondary emissions of particulate matter than diesel cars from their brakes and tyres due to the additional weight. Very little is still known about secondary emissions, which is why institutions such as Kings College London are planning to investigate this further.
“Secondly, the grid power needed for EV charging stations is not available in key locations, such as central London, and the enhanced demand to charge electric vehicles means that fossil fuels will still be needed in the short term.”
DfT: Road to Zero Strategy