July 10 (Renewables Now) - The UK government on Monday published its Road to Zero Strategy, which sets a goal for at least 50% and up 70% of new car sales and up to 40% of new van sales to be ultra low emission by 2030.
According to Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, the strategy is "one of the most comprehensive packages of support for the transition to zero emission vehicles in the world."
The government said it has already committed to making a GBP-1.5-billion (USD 2bn/EUR 1.7bn) investment in ultra low emission vehicles by 2020 and the newly released strategy sets out a number of measures in further support of the sector. One such step is the launch of a GBP-400-million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to provide funding to new and existing companies that produce and install charge points.
The measures also include a push for charge points in newly built homes and new lampposts, as well as the provision of up to GBP 500 for the installation of home charge points through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and an increase in the value of grants available to workplaces for adding charge points.
The government is further launching a GBP-40-million programme to develop and trial innovative, low cost wireless and on-street charging technology.
The government says it wants to make the UK the best place in the world to build and own electric vehicles (EVs). As part of its Industrial Strategy, the government aims to put the UK at the forefront of the low emission vehicle industry that is expected to be worth up to GBP 7.6 trillion per year by 2050.
Still, the Committee on Climate Change said the Road to Zero Strategy fell short of its expectations. Its chairman Lord Deben commended the ambition to ramp up EVs by 2030 and new charging infrastructure but added that "[r]elying on the private sector to effect the shift to zero emission vehicles by 2040 is risky – we had hoped for greater clarity on Government actions to back this up and to ensure plug-in hybrids sold in the UK travel further in electric mode on a single charge."
(GBP 1 = USD 1.324/EUR 1.132)