Accelerating the Transition to Zero Emission Vehicles
We explain the COP26 declaration and UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy
Tackling climate change head on, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties - more commonly referred to as COP26 - was held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31st October to 13th November 2021.
The conference is attended by powerful representatives from all over the world during what can quite often become a heated exchange about the future of our planet. Every industry is addressed and a strategy developed in how its part will be played over the coming years.
The future of road transport and the automotive industry as a whole was one such industry thrown into the spotlight. In policy papers released by the UK Government, a declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans has been published. In a direct response to the COP26 global summit, a number of pledges and commitments have been made to achieve climate change goals.
Why is the COP26 automotive policy so important?
The numbers speak for themselves. Road transport around the world accounts for 10% of all global emissions and sadly they are rising faster than those in any other sector of the economy. The population is growing and so too is the demand for transport, so it’s clear things need to change.
How is the automotive industry addressing climate change?
As we know, a huge shift to zero emission vehicles is already well underway in a bid to cut emissions and as a result, drastically reduce toxic pollutants in our air. Of course, these changes will take time, which is why each country has agreed to its own Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) target.
Leading the way in efforts to decarbonise transport, there are already around 8.5 million ZEVs on the roads which together represent about 41% of the global passenger vehicle market. It’s a fantastic achievement to date, but to keep the limit of 1.5 degrees warming within reach, we must do so much better.
What is the Net Zero Strategy?
In essence, the Net Zero Strategy outlines the UK’s plans for a greener future. As published on the official UK government website - GOV.UK - plans to dramatically reduce our emissions are documented. These key pledges include:
- Each manufacturer will be set zero emission targets for new cars and vans by 2024.
- Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, and vans, from 2030.
- From the year 2035, all new cars and vans must have zero tailpipe emissions.
- From the year 2040, all new vehicles such as motorcycles, buses and HGVs will be expected to have zero tailpipe emissions too (subject to further consultation).
How will the production of electric vehicles be supported?
Of course none of the above can happen with the necessary funding and infrastructure to enable a zero emissions future. Which is why plans are being introduced to ensure the UK’s charging infrastructure network is readily available and reliable enough to support a huge increase in electric vehicles (EVs).
The UK Government has already committed a significant amount of investment into the production of EVs to support the transition from petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles to a future of ZEVs. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is making them more affordable.
£620 million has been initially allocated to support the ongoing transition to electric vehicles across the country, with an additional £73.5 million investment in the manufacture of EV batteries. The initial funding will support the development of an EV infrastructure across our towns and cities, including local on-street residential charging facilities and plug-in vehicle grants to help keep the costs down for consumers.
What funding is available towards the purchase of an EV?
If you’re planning on investing in an electric vehicle, then help is at hand. The UK Government offers a number of grants to help make EV ownership more affordable. These include:
- A plug-in car grant which can reduce the cost of a new EV by up to £2,500.
- A home charging unit grant provided by the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) of up to 75% towards the cost of installation.
- A Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) that provides grants towards the installation of EV charge points on business premises.
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Why not explore our fantastic selection of new and nearly new electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid cars currently in stock. As the largest family-run new and used car supermarket in the South of England, we offer our customers an extensive choice of vehicles from 11 new car brands.
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