The transition to electric vehicles and the domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel are subject to a package of measures announced by the government.
The government has launched the £381m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund alongside an additional £15m for the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS). The funding will support the installation of tens of thousands of new chargers across the country, which is intended to support the increasing number of EV drivers and those considering the switch.
In a statement, 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, [this] 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.”
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.
According to the Department for transport, the plans support a commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. Between 2030 and 2034, all new vehicles must be either fully zero emission or be able to drive a significant distance with zero emissions.
The final proposals are being jointly consulted upon by the UK government, alongside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
DfT said the measures support manufacturers through a credits-based trading system, enabling them to bank credits in years when they exceed annual targets for use in future years, or trade them with other manufacturers that have fallen short. If manufacturers do not meet their yearly targets, they could face possible fines of up to £18,000 for every vehicle they miss their target by.
Commenting on the announcement, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “Automotive is on track to deliver zero emission motoring, so we welcome this long-awaited consultation on a watershed regulation for the UK new car and van market. We want regulation that gives consumers choice and affordability, and enables manufacturers to transition sustainably and competitively.
While the proposals rightly reflect the sector’s diversity, late publication and lack of regulatory certainty make product planning near impossible, and the continued lack of clarity as to what technologies will be permitted beyond 2030 undermines attempts to secure investment.
Measures to improve the customer charging experience are a step in the right direction, but the fact that contactless credit or debit card payments will not be available on the vast majority of public chargers is a major failing that will significantly disadvantage EV drivers.
In the aviation sector, the government said it is opening the second application round of the £165m Advanced Fuels Fund, which will help deliver on the commitment for the UK to have at least five commercial scale UK sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plants in construction by 2025.
Additionally, a second consultation on the SAF mandate has been launched, which sets out how the mandate will deliver carbon savings, provide incentives to SAF producers and signal to investors the role SAF will play in the future of UK aviation.
Extracted from The Engineer, read more here