More action required to bring about greater uptake of ULEVs

11.26 | 17 January 2018 | | 3 comments

60% of new cars must be electric by 2030 if greenhouse gas targets are to be met, ministers have been warned.

In a new report on the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, the Committee on Climate Change – the official watchdog – says the Government must take more action ‘to drive greater uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles’.

While acknowledging that the UK has made good progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the report says ‘urgent action is needed to flesh out current plans and proposals’ to help the UK meet its legally-binding carbon targets in the 2020s and 2030s.

The Government has set out an ambition for between 30% and 70% of car sales, and up to 40% of van sales, to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) by 2030.

However, the Committee on Climate Change report says it will be necessary to deliver towards the upper end of the range for cars, while greater ambition is needed for vans – adding that there is little concrete action on emissions from HGVs.

Referring to petrol and diesel cars, the report concludes that ‘given that it takes around 15 years for the stock of cars and vans to turn over, it may be necessary for the sales of petrol and diesel vehicles to end by 2035’.

Looking ahead to the Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, due to be published in 2018, the report calls for the inclusion of proposals for incentivising the uptake of ULEVs – such as an extension of grants for plug-in vehicles – and a clear plan for the development of a public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Quarterly figures published in December 2017 show that the number of new ULEVs registered in the UK exceeded 14,000 for the first time between July and September 2017.

Despite representing a 33% increase on the corresponding period in 2016, ULEVs only accounted for 1.5% of all new registrations during that period.


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    The biggest problem is the conflation* of Air Quality and C02 output.

    For our populated areas the issue (as it is in California) is Air Quality and to get most cars over to electric, and remove unnecessary small diesels will make a lot of difference to this, and help with C02. The limited number of those with caravans and motorhomes are not the target, but the others need to change to ‘make room’ for the Air Quality pollution they create.

    Not all large vehicles need to be diesels. Tesla has demonstrated an electric artic and London will have electric taxis with on board generators when the battery is low.

    *conflation is the inappropriate combining or confusion of two different, but similar, things.

    Mark, Caerphilly
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Petrol based vehicles are by far not the greatest danger when it come to green house gasses as the vast majority come from industry, farming, waste disposal and other occurrences such as the burning down of peat based forests where the top 12 inches of peat being burned actually gives off 20 times the pollution that Co2 gives, and that also of methane, another gas given off by waste disposal which pollution is some 25 times greater that of Co2. Whilst we can all bend over backwards and attempt to stop the pollution that causes, greenhouse gasses by vehicle use we need also to be made aware of what other interventions and advancements are being made for all the other more serious pollutants.

    That way we can have some idea if our efforts and perhaps increased costs are being worthwhile or just a waste of time, effort and monies.

    bob craven
    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    I guess I will be in the 40% then as there are still no ULEVs available to replace current petrol/diesel tow cars for caravanners. I’m not interested in government nudges until there is a cost effective practical replacement vehicle to a big 4×4 to tow a 2 tonne trailer/ caravan.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

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