UK Government announces £1 billion commitment to support electrification of vehicles

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The UK Government has announced its strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050, which includes a number of measures and financial investments that concern the logistics sector.

UK Government announces £1 billion commitment to support electrification of vehicles
Photo: Volvo Trucks

Among the pledges made by the government are an extra £350 million of its up to £1 billion commitment to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains. Another £620 million for targeted electric vehicle grants and infrastructure, particularly local on-street residential charge points, has also been pledged.

The government’s 'Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’ plan states that the country’s rail network, as well as aviation and shipping, will all be net zero emissions by 2050.

In terms of rail, the government aims to achieve this feat through “a sustained, long-term programme of investment in rail electrification, supported by deployment of battery and hydrogen-powered trains.” Moreover, the government adds that “Great British Railways will encourage more rail freight by providing the right conditions for industry growth, with better coordination, modern contracts, and new safeguards.”

As for aviation, the following are listed a solutions: technology such as electric and hydrogen aircraft, commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuels, increasing operational efficiencies, developing and implementing market-based measures and GHG removal methods.

When it comes to maritime, the government’s plan refers to alternative fuel powered vessels using ammonia or methanol produced from low carbon hydrogen, or highly efficient batteries.

The government also looks set to change tax legislation in order to get more electric vehicles on UK roads. The government’s document says it plans to put thousands more zero emission cars and vans onto UK roads through a zero emission vehicle mandate.”

This was elaborated on in the government’s 368-page plan, which says:

“As we have stated in the Ten Point Plan and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, we need to ensure that the taxation of motoring keeps pace with the change to electric vehicles to ensure that we can continue to fund the first-class public services and infrastructure that people and families across the UK expect.

Besides using tax mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, the government also says it wants to encourage a “modal shift” towards greener alternatives:

“We will support and encourage modal shift of freight from road to more sustainable alternatives, such as rail, cargo bikes and inland waterways. We will transform last mile deliveries, with zero emission HGVs and decarbonised deliveries made possible through the adoption of new delivery models, supported by accurate data and digital innovations which drive greater efficiencies.”

On top of the above, data sharing is another area covered by the plans:

“We will reduce the barriers to data sharing across the transport sector. Better data can provide new policy and operational insights, drive new products and services and ‘nudge’ people towards lower emission journeys. We recently published a new annual statistical release, drawing together various data sources on transport’s environmental impact. Data consumers can use these data, without restrictions on use or disclosure, for journey planning applications, products and services enabling users to plan green end-to-end journeys.”

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