This conference brought out the latest thinking on policy to reduce transport emissions and next steps for low emission vehicles in the UK.
Delegates examined the progress of the Road to Zero Strategy and the challenges in achieving the Government’s aim of at least half of new cars to be ultra low emission by 2030.
It took place in the context of a new law that set a target to reduce greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2050, including those emitted by transport.
With the plug-in car and van grants planned to end in 2020, delegates assessed next steps that would be needed to incentivise consumers to adopt low emission vehicles and what these incentives may look like after 2020.
They considered options for addressing regulatory barriers for decarbonising transport such as creating a tax regime that supports decarbonisation of fleets following HM Treasury’s Review of WLTP and Vehicle Taxes.
Attendees also assessed the opportunities for maximising the contribution of low emission vehicles to reducing emissions and particulate matter in the context of the Clean Air Strategy 2019.
They examined practical measures for local government in improving air quality, outlined in the review of interventions for reducing outdoor air pollution published by Public Health England - including the use of spatial planning to reduce transport network congestion, implementing vehicle-free environments, and supporting the development of active travel infrastructure and encourage behavioural change.
Sessions looked at what can be learnt from the launch of London’s ULEZ as local authorities develop low-carbon transport systems, the impact of Clean Air Zones, and how charging zones will be designed and evaluated.
In light of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, attendees discussed options for developing the charging network, such as proposals for ultra-rapid charging infrastructure at existing motorway services versus home charging.
There was also discussion on the prospects for increasing private and public investment in innovative charging technologies, with the Government launching a £40m programme to develop and trial new types of on-street charging technology.
As preparations are made for the continued take up of electric vehicles, delegates considered the issues surrounding the development of a future-proofed energy grid - following the launch of the Government’s Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce, as well as Ofgem’s proposals for re-wiring the energy system to accommodate electric vehicles.
Further sessions examined potential solutions for reducing emissions following £25m government investment for new zero emission technologies, as well as potential innovation for larger vehicles and road freight that may be more challenging to electrify, such as the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight, ports and shipping and Hydrogen for Transport schemes.