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UK Government outlines plan to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles

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Through a series of articles, Electrical Review will break down the key ways in which the Government plans to meet its net zero ambitions. In this article, we’ll explore all the ways in which it will be spurring the adoption of electric vehicles. 

The UK Government has committed in law that the country will achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with it now releasing its plan to achieve that goal. 

Unsurprisingly, electric vehicles are a hugely important part of the UK’s transition to net zero emissions. To that end, the Government is planning to plough even more funds into speeding up the adoption of electric vehicles, as well as legislating where necessary. 

One key piece of legislation that will help speed up that transition is set to be implemented in just nine years time – a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2030. Manufacturers will no longer be able to sell new polluting vehicles, although it appears likely that they will still be able to sell those they have in inventory until 2035. That’s when the new rule that all new cars and vans must be zero emission at the tailpipe kicks in. 

Alongside banning the sale of polluting cars and vans, the UK Government is currently consulting on a similar ban covering trucks, buses and other vehicle types by 2040. However, the electric HGV industry isn’t as well developed as the car market, hence the delay. 

No matter when the Government decides to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, key to any electric vehicle strategy will be ensuring that there is the required charging infrastructure in place. Now, regular readers of Electrical Review will already be aware that there are more EV chargers in the UK than there are petrol stations, however, we also know there needs to be even more. 

That’s why the UK Government has announced additional funding towards further improvements to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure to the tune of £620 million. While it will detail exactly how these funds will be spent later this year with an EV infrastructure strategy, it does note that the money is likely to focus on local on-street residential charging and targeted plug-in vehicle grants. 

In addition to Government funding for electric vehicles, manufacturers will also be required to concentrate on electric vehicle sales – as the UK is set to follow the EU’s lead in proposing a set quota for electric vehicle sales. The exact figure has yet to be confirmed, however. 

With all the funding in the world alongside mandates, the UK Government realises it needs to lead by example, which is why it will seek to improve its own fleet of vehicles. Currently just 25% of the Government’s car fleet will be ultra low emission by December 2022, although it plans to cover 100% by 2027. 

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