UK roads to be punctuated with ultra-low emission vehicles by 2040

Published: 03 Mar 2014

Car dealers in the UK can expect incentives for their efforts to push the sales of the electric vehicles.  The Office for Low Emission Vehicles is currently analysing a consultation document on how to spend the Government’s £500 million funding to support the uptake of low emissions vehicles between 2015 and 2020.

The initiative is taken to encourage people to buy low emission vehicles and for car dealerships to encourage this practice. Anna West, the Head of Consumer Initiatives at the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles, said that the announcement would be made in April 2015.

West believes that the incentive is a move in the right direction and is especially useful for fleet customers to encourage people to buy plug-in cars. She said: “We recognise that fleets are leaders and we need to get them on board to make sure our agenda to encourage adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) is a success. We have had a fantastic response from fleets so far with almost 50% grant uptake being from the business sector. Where fleets lead, others will follow.”

The UK Government has predicted that by 2050, almost every car, van and other vehicles on the nation’s roads will be an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV).

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Presently, road transport is responsible for 92% of UK’s domestic transport greenhouse gas emissions.  To decarbonise the UK roads, the Government is providing a funding of over a £1 billion through to 2020 in the form of investment, incentives and tax breaks. The Government’s previous funding of £37 million helped to install Plugged-in Places with more than 5,500 charge points that were fitted in the beginning of the decade. There are talks to install smart meters across all domestic properties by 2020 and that will allow consumers to recharge at a reasonable cost.

Norman Baker, the Transport Minister, said: “These are exciting times for the motoring industry as ultra-low emission vehicles are the future for road travel. Our vision is that by 2050 almost every car and van will be an ultra-low emission vehicle with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture. As well as huge opportunities for the automotive sector, this will bring life-changing benefits to our towns and cities, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions, and it will provide energy security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil imports."

The ULEVs powered by electricity and hydrogen are increasingly taking over a share of the UK’s vehicle industry. The challenge that remains in the ULEV industry is the high purchase costs and customers’ concerns over refuelling and recharging facilities. However, the Government is determined to overcome these obstacles and establish the UK as a premier market for ULEVs.


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