This timely conference focused on next steps for decarbonising road transport in the UK, assessing commercial prospects and policy options - and the way forward for innovation in all-electric vehicles, hybrids and alternative fuels.
Discussing both private and public transport, it followed the release of a UK Air Quality Plan 2017 for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which advocates local authority led responses to air quality and emissions; funding streams to help councils implement clean air measures; support for low-emission and retrofitted buses and changes to the tax treatment of diesel vehicles.
With car companies announcing vehicle scrappage schemes and the government announcement on tough emission tests for diesel cars along with mandatory testing for new diesel and petrol cars in place from September, delegates considered policy options for lowering emissions. This included the development of Clean Air Zones, adapting driver behaviours, initiatives to increase the uptake of alternative fuels and encouraging the transition of fleet vehicles.
The seminar also took place in the context of the National Infrastructure Commission’s recently launched consultation, which considered opportunities for decarbonising road transport; the Clean Growth Strategy, which outlined new policies to promote low-carbon road transport; and the parliamentary inquiry on developing the electric vehicle market and associated infrastructure.
Further sessions examined the role of subsidies such as the expanded Plug-In Grant and the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. With Government also announcing a planned ban on sales of conventional and hybrid cars and vans by 2040, delegates considered the technical and regulatory priorities for increasing electrification of the road network, installation and management of charging infrastructure, and challenges for the electricity grid for increasing demand in homes and in public places.