The UK Government is under pressure to bring forward the ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles to 2030, as the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) threw its weight behind the plan.
Earlier this year, the UK Government brought forward its ban on diesel and petrol vehicles to 2035, having previously pledged 2040 as the cut off date. Now, the ECA, along with other organisations such as Friends of the Earth and Committee on Climate Change, are calling for the ban to be brought forward even more.
A 2030 cut off wouldn’t be unprecedented, many other countries around the world have already committed to that date. In fact, our closest neighbour, Ireland, has already vowed to ban the sale of new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2030, joining both Sweden and the Netherlands. Norway is being even more ambitious, cutting off internal combustion engine sales in 2025.
While the ECA backs the 2030 date for the UK, rather than the more ambitious 2025 date, the organisation admits that bringing the ban forward by five years is only feasible if there is further investment in the UK’s electric charging infrastructure. The ECA for its part has called for a minimum of six DC charge points in operation in every motorway service station in the UK by 2023, as well as wider deployment across the entire road network.
Of course, the UK already has been growing its EV network. Despite Covid-19, installations have continued, with the number of chargers now available in the UK topping 18,000 in July. However, that’s not nearly enough if the country is hoping to eventually do away with internal combustion engine vehicles completely – especially considering there are currently more than 38 million cars registered in the UK.
Thankfully, the majority of charging will take place at home or at the office, meaning the UK doesn’t exactly need to install millions of chargers to be ready for the onslaught of electric vehicles. The ECA fully anticipates that, but believes the provision of charge points at a range of locations – such as car parks, airports, stadiums and leisure centres – is highly desirable, and could be an income stream for local councils.
Luke Osborne, ECA energy advisor, notes, “With the Government’s commitment to achieving net carbon zero by 2050, it is crucial that a rapid move to the electrification of transport takes place. The ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars is one key component in achieving this, along with the full de-carbonisation of rail and bus networks.”
The ECA is also keen on the UK meeting its net zero goal by 2050, and isn’t just calling for the decarbonisation of cars, vans, trucks, lorries, buses and coaches. In fact, the organisation thinks all transportation options should stop using fossil fuels, with the ban extended to cover boats, ships and everything in between.
Osborne continues, “The move to full electrification of transport along with the adoption of electrification for heating will place additional demands on the electricity supply network – which needs its capacity bolstering.
“In addition, it is crucial that the UK continues to reduce the carbon content of the electricity grid through increased renewable energy generation. Increased deployment of off-shore and on-shore wind generation as well as enlargement of the capacity of solar PV farms, coupled with the use of electrical energy storage systems, will help to achieve this.”