Government's new Road to Zero Strategy aims for at least of half of new vehicle sales to be for ultra-low-emission models

The Government has confirmed that hybrid cars and vans will be excluded from its 2040 ban on petrol and diesel new car sales.

As revealed by Autocar in May, the Government’s new Road to Zero Strategy will allow electrified models to be sold, so long as they are classed as ultra-low-emissions vehicles (ULEV).

At present, these are cars that emit on average less than 75g/km of CO2, of which the vast majority are plug-in hybrids capable of electric-only running. The Government intends for at least 50% (it targets 70%) of new car sales to be of ULEVs by 2030.

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Society of Motor Traders and Manufacturers boss, Mike Hawes, said that the allowing combustion engine-based powertrains to remain in production after 2040 was essential for the industry's transition to zero-emission transport. He said “The Road to Zero Strategy recognises the huge progress already made and the vital role conventional engines, including diesel, will continue to play in the transition to 2040 and beyond. The latest advanced diesels meet the world’s toughest emissions standards, helping to reduce climate change and improve air quality – while also providing affordable mobility to millions of motorists, particularly those that travel longer distances and deliver our essential goods and services".

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The 2040 ban was announced last year and came as part of the Government’s air quality plan, which aims to reduce emissions produced in several sectors, including private transport. The Road to Zero Strategy supports this and is focused on road transport.

Aside from lowering harmful emissions and improving air quality, the Government predicts that investment into more sustainable car technology will provide the UK with an opportunity to become a global leader of an industry that it predicts in its Industrial Strategy will be worth up to £7.6 trillion per year by 2050.

The Government has been particularly cautious in its ban on pure combustion and petrol vehicle sales by not supporting one low-emission technology over another. It said in a statement: “The Road to Zero Strategy is technology-neutral and does not speculate on which technologies might help to deliver the Government’s 2040 mission”.

This comes a month after Richard Harrington, under-secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, stated that it’s not possible to predict which technology will be best placed to provide sustainable transport energy in the next couple of decades.

"With no one clear technology winner at this early stage, we are pleased policy makers have listened to industry’s calls to avoid prescriptive measures, which would hamper innovation and hold progress back, recognising that the transition should be led by industry and consumers," said Hawes.

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The Government has committed to £1.5 billion worth of investment into ULEVs by 2020, ramping up the rollout of vehicle chargers via its £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, as well as creating a £40 million programme to develop and test low-cost wireless and on-street charging technology.

Added to its existing plug-in car grant, which removes up to £4500 from the list price of an electrified vehicle, the Government also provides up to £500 to electric vehicle owners wanting to add a car plug to their homes, via the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

Electrified vehicle sales have rocketed in recent months, with more than 150,000 ULEVs on British roads at the last count. However, this still represents just 0.4% of all vehicles. 

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Comments
13

9 July 2018

Smart decision, we know Hybrids will still have a decades of use and they will be tunned even further, after that (3 or 4 decades) who knows what other kinds of technology we will have besides electric power. Now we will be able to reduce emissions and still have cars for all kinds of taste, it is important that we dont forget about the car as a toy of enjoyment also rather than just a simple tool of mobility.

The auto industry will do its part in reducing emissions with electric and Hybrids cars, after all they have been pressured so much to succeed, I think its now time for some of that pressure to attack other kinds of heavy polluting industries, some much more than auto, I dont understand how there isn't some kind of regulation for meat production yet.

9 July 2018

There are hybrids, and there are hybrids. Some (ie plug-in) hybrids are capable of zero emissions running and use a petrol engine simply as a back-up, but most are petrol or diesel powered cars with energy storage used to improve overall efficiency; a few are simply conventional powered cars with what amounts to a motorised alternator to boost official test cycle figures.  

Useful though hybrids are, they are not really alternative fuel vehicles and don't necessarily solve pollution or CO2 issues.  

 

10 July 2018
LP in Brighton wrote:

There are hybrids, and there are hybrids. Some (ie plug-in) hybrids are capable of zero emissions running and use a petrol engine simply as a back-up, but most are petrol or diesel powered cars with energy storage used to improve overall efficiency; a few are simply conventional powered cars with what amounts to a motorised alternator to boost official test cycle figures.  

Useful though hybrids are, they are not really alternative fuel vehicles and don't necessarily solve pollution or CO2 issues.  

 

True there are variations in hybrids, but the article does refer to ultra low emissions, below 75g/km which is mainly the plug in variety with a useful electrirc range, the electric boost hybrids like my crz or the new suzuki hybrids etc are nowhere near this, but even these can be useful for reducing pollution as the electrical boost does reduce the load on engines and as such reduces emissions and improves economy so even these types will improve in time.

9 July 2018

This is a fudge, even if expected. The electrified claim was only ever for headlines. They can't even electrify the trains. 

Too many hybrids are no better than pure fuel after the first few tens of miles (as LP suggests, after the regulatory test cycle).

9 July 2018

i am not that interested in zero emissions targets 20plus years away. I am interested in getting pollution down by a significant amount in the next 5 years which means getting the worst polluting vehicles off the road in that timeframe. New cars aren’t really the issue. A sensible glide path for new cars to continue to improve is fine. 

clangers

9 July 2018

Yep, for our Kids and theirs that follow, we need to get the Ball rolling now, I’ll have stopped driving by then Roads will be super busy, won’t matter what tech or who is driving the Car either, better get used to this idea....

Peter Cavellini.

9 July 2018

So, if there is a rechargeable AA battery fitted and that powers some car electronics, would that be enough to be considered as hybrid? 2040 is a long way away, and any law now would force car manufaturers to have an affordable fully electric solution by that time.

9 July 2018
SamX wrote:

So, if there is a rechargeable AA battery fitted and that powers some car electronics, would that be enough to be considered as hybrid? 2040 is a long way away, and any law now would force car manufaturers to have an affordable fully electric solution by that time.

 

No. Read the article.

9 July 2018

If the government wants UK to be any kind of global leader, it needs to heed the car industry’s warnings on Brexit and stop the damaging ‘fuck business’ attitude.

9 July 2018

This will solve absolutely nothing.

 

I thank you.

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