Ahead of the seminal international Zero Emission Vehicles Summit in London tomorrow, Energy UK has joined WWF-UK, businesses and energy companies to call on the Prime Minister Theresa May to be more ambitious on delivering low carbon transport.
A broad coalition of businesses – from Sky to Aviva, Zip Car to Wilmott Dixon - have signed the letter to the Prime Minister to welcome the ambition set out in the recent Road to Zero strategy and urge the Government to go further to enable these ambitions to become a reality, including to accelerate the phase-out of new petrol and diesel vehicles; and ensure supportive electric vehicle sales targets and policies.
The letter also calls for the forthcoming Budget to be used to eliminate short-term barriers to electric vehicle uptake by addressing the cliff-edge in company car benefit-in-kind tax rates which serve to disincentive zero-emission uptake before 2020/21, and bring forward the 2 percent rate to 2019/20.
“Taking the right action now would show clear global leadership and enable the UK to continue to be a leading market for low carbon transport” said Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK. “Energy UK has long been calling for the Government to go further and faster to encourage a mass uptake of electric vehicles to the benefit of our environment, the economy and consumers.”
Tony Juniper, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF, added that transport is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the UK, so it’s encouraging to see such broad business support to get the UK in the fast lane to a clean economy. If society is to protect nature from the increasing threats of climate change, the country must be truly ambitious in cutting its emissions and aim for 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2030.
Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business at Sky, said that the company is committed to a low-carbon future and that it became the first carbon neutral media company 2006. Sky has invested in electric vehicle charging points at its own sites and is currently reviewing the feasibility of alternative-fuelled vehicles for its cars and vans. As part of this, the company is working with others to make sure the uptake of zero emissions vehicles is viable.
The letter comes ahead of the international Zero Emission Vehicles Summit 2018, which starts today, 11th September, in London and which brings together ministers, industry leaders and sector representatives from around the world to tackle carbon emissions and to find ways to improve air quality.
Energy UK leads a cross-sector electric vehicle working group as well as participating in both the Government’s and the Mayor of London’s electric vehicle task forces. Following a consultation on smart charging standards, Energy UK has also recently launched the EV Charging Forum which brings together a young industry of charge point operators together for the first time.