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.