UK government unveils measures to boost transport decarbonisation

Posted: 4 April 2023 | | No comments yet

As part of its Net Zero Strategy, the UK government has unveiled a package of measures aimed at decarbonising the country’s transport sector, including support for electric vehicles and sustainable aviation fuel.

UK government unveils measures to boost transport decarbonisation

A robust package of measures to boost the UK’s progress towards decarbonising transport, has been unveiled by the government. The measures will support the shift to electric vehicles (EVs), as well as the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the UK – continuing the country’s transition towards net zero.

The UK government has launched the £381 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund alongside an additional £15 million for the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS). Taken together the funding will support the installation of tens of thousands of new chargers across the country, increasing EV infrastructure in every area and ensuring that the UK’s charging network can support the increasing number of EV drivers and those considering the switch.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Transport is one of the most important sectors for achieving net zero by 2050, and so we must accelerate our efforts to decarbonise how people get from A to B, while growing our economy and supporting thousands of green jobs. From expanding our charging network to boosting the production of cleaner aviation fuel, (the) announcement is a great stride forwards – offering people more choice on how to stay connected while delivering the carbon reductions needed to achieve net zero.”

In addition, the government has also unveiled its proposals for a zero-emission vehicle mandate which, from 2024, will set minimum annual targets for the percentage of new car and van sales that must be zero-emission. 

The plans support the government’s commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and from 2035 all new cars and vans must be fully zero-emission at the exhaust. Between 2030 and 2034 all new vehicles must be either fully zero-emission or be able to drive a significant distance with zero emissions.

UK government’s Transport Data Strategy to improve public transport access and innovation

The final proposals are being jointly consulted upon by the UK government, alongside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and are the single largest carbon saving measure identified in the government’s Net Zero Strategy.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “The government is doing more than ever to help the UK move away from petrol and diesel and towards electric vehicles. That means investing in charging infrastructure and giving a clear direction to manufacturers so they can roll-out new electric vehicles faster and more efficiently. Overall, the UK is leading the way in decarbonising transport, a sector that is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases.”

The announcement provides long-term certainty to the industry, increasing the number of zero-emission cars available for people to buy and setting a clear direction for operators to accelerate the installation of charge points. 

Furthermore, the government has announced that it has opened the second application round of the £165 million Advanced Fuels Fund, which will help deliver on the commitment for the UK to have at least five commercial scale UK SAF plants in construction by 2025.

The production and use of sustainable aviation fuel in the UK is central to the Net Zero Strategy, as SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 70% whilst boosting investment, jobs and fuel security.