UK Gov Announces Ambitious Green Infrastructure Strategy

scotland electric car

The UK Government has announced its Road to Zero Strategy, which will see radical investment in green infrastructure, the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles and place the country at the forefront of an industry expected to be worth trillions of pounds.

The UK Government has launched an ambitious new strategy that could see the nation lead the world in zero emission vehicle technology. The “Road to Zero Strategy” aims to see at least half of all new cars on Britain’s roads ultra-low emission by 2030 and place the country at the forefront of an industry predicted to be worth a staggering £7.6 trillion a year by 2050.

Proposals outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy could make the UK the best place on earth to build and own electric vehicles, with massive investment in green infrastructure and the availability of technology a focal point of the plans.

This is a key element of its modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to propel UK industries into a modern era and accommodate for the whirlwind of technological change currently underway across the country.

The Future is Green

The Road to Zero Strategy aspires to see at least 50% of new car sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030, alongside up to 40% of all new vans. The strategy, however, also states that achieving up to a staggering 70% of new vehicles could be a reality. What this could come to represent is the biggest technological advancement to hit Britain’s roads since the invention of the combustion engine.

Achieving this, however, will require huge investment in Britain’s infrastructure and increased collaboration with business, academia and industry. The government says it plans to work alongside industry, business, academia, consumer groups, devolved administrations, environmental groups, local government and international partners to enable the deployment of the infrastructure networks needed to accommodate for change.

Building this infrastructure will require a number of key focus areas, which include:

  • A push for chargepoints to be installed in newly built homes as well as new lampposts to include charging points.
  • The launch of a £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to fast-track the roll-out of charging infrastructure through funding to new and existing companies in this field.
  • Creating a new £40 million programme to develop and trial innovative low-cost wireless and on-street charging technology.
  • The launch of an Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce to enable collaboration between energy and automotive industries to prepare for increased infrastructural pressure.

In addition to this, the government also plans to introduce a series of incentives for vehicle owners to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. This could see vehicle owners receive £500 to install a charge point in their home through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

For consumers looking to buy electric vehicles, an extension to the Plug-In Car and Van Grants is planned, while workplaces are also set to receive an increase in the value of grants for installing chargepoints.

Preparing for Change

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, believes that the Road to Zero Strategy is an ambitious yet achievable vision of the future of Britain’s road networks; preparing for radical changes to both the economy and society.

He said: “The coming decades are going to be transformative for our motor industry, our national infrastructure and the way we travel. We expect to see more change in the transport sector over the next 10 years than we have seen in the previous century.

“The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution – ensuring that the UK has cleaner air, a better environment and a stronger economy.”

Greener Vehicles, Cleaner Air

There are already more than 150,000 ultra-low emission vehicles on British roads, however, the government accepts there is still work to be done. The Road to Zero Strategy will coincide with the government’s Air Quality plan, which will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.

Working alongside industry will enable the government to meet its commitment to improving air quality and ensure the quality of public health.

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