The government has confirmed its commitment to making at least half of the vehicles on UK roads ultra-low emission by 2030 with the launch of its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy.  The strategy, which you can read in its entirety here, outlines measures that will put the UK at the forefront of a global revolution in cleaner driving.

It aims to enable a massive expansion of green infrastructure and promote the use of zero-emission cars, vans and trucks across the country. In the words of the Transport Minister, the result will be “cleaner air, a better environment and a strong, clean economy”.

What are the key measures proposed in the strategy?

The government has already set out its air quality plan, which will end the sale of new conventional and petrol diesel cars and vans by 2040. The Road to Zero strategy aims to build towards this commitment and outlines how the government will work with industry, businesses, environmental groups and local government to achieve it. Here are some of the key proposals:

More low emission cars
The Road to Zero strategy has increased the government’s target for ultra-low emission car sales from 30-70% to 50-70% by 2030. The target for ultra-low emission van sales has been set at 40%.

A new definition for ultra-low emission vehicles
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) currently considers an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) to be one that emits less than 75g/km of CO2. However, the government wants to redefine it as one that emits less than 50g/km by 2021.

Increased grants
The strategy proposes to increase the level of grants available from the Workplace Charging Scheme. Currently, workplaces installing a chargepoint can claim £300 per socket, but the government aims to introduce that to 75% of the purchase and installation costs, capped at a maximum of £500 per socket.

Improved availability of charging infrastructure
The Road to Zero strategy commits to improving the availability of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV). Charging infrastructure will be installed in new lamp posts in areas with on-road parking, and new-build homes will be EV-ready.

Reduced emissions from HGVs
New measures have also been introduced to tackle emissions from HGVs. The industry must now deliver on its commitment to a 15% reduction in emissions by 2025.

More change in the next decade than the previous century

Commenting on the Road to Zero strategy, 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.

“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.”

What has the reaction been?

The Committee on Climate Change believes the strategy falls short in certain areas. Firstly, it does not think the target of 40% for ultra-low emission new van sales is high enough. It also criticises the lack of incentives to purchase electric and hybrid vans and the absence of measures to address the fast-growing market for higher-emitting vehicles such as Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

However, the Road to Zero has also been welcomed for its commitment to improving the availability of charging infrastructure. The new measures to tackle emissions of HGVs have also been widely commended, as until now there was no policy to reduce emissions in this sector.

Our commitment to cleaner haulage

With many cities ready to introduce Clean Air Zones (CAZ), it’s clear the UK is looking to take the lead on the reduction of carbon emissions. As a forward-thinking company, we consider the environmental impact of all haulage and logistics jobs. Read more about our services and get in touch today.


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