Government details progress after first year of Transport Decarbonisation Plan

Fri 15 July 2022 View all news

The Government highlights progress towards a zero emission vehicle mandate, a £200m commitment to demonstrate zero emission HGVs as well as advances in active travel and towards sustainable aviation fuels in the first annual review of progress since the Transport Decarbonisation Plan was published.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison wrote in the foreword to the one year review: "This puts the UK firmly at the forefront of clean transport. However, we know there is still much more to do.

"Whilst the world has changed over the past year, we remain focused on meeting net zero, as well as ensuring we deliver the wider benefits that come with the transition to zero emission transport. Our plans will also help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, helping to improve our energy security and resilience. As we said twelve months ago, this is a true challenge of our time. We will continue to rise to it."

The review highlights the fact that in 2021, over 18% of new cars sold had a plug, up from just over 3% in 2019. It says that as a result of the introduction of a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate from 2024, more car manufacturers are committing to having 100% of their UK sales zero emission by 2030. The Government's analysis shows these commitments now cover over 60% of the total new vehicle UK market share.

To support the electrification transition, as of 1st June 2022 the UK had over 31,000 public chargepoints of which nearly 6,000 were rapid chargers.

Though transport emissions fell dramatically during the pandemic in 2020, it remains the highest emitting sector of the UK economy. Cars and taxis represent over half (52%) of all domestic transport emissions with heavy duty vehicles (19%) and light duty vehicles (16%) together representing more than a third. (See chart below.)

Over the next year, the Government says it plans to:

  • Ensure the ZEV mandate delivers the fastest and most sustainable transition to zero emission vehicles once it comes into force in 2024. 
  • Work towards target of 25% of the government’s car fleet to be ultra low emission by the end of 2022.
  • Continue to work closely with Zemo Partnership and the MCIA to realise the full potential of the zero emission L-category sector.

To decarbonise the bus sector it plans to:

  • Set an end date for the sale of new, non-zero emission buses and for the expected date when the entire fleet should be zero emission.
  • Provide a further £200m funding for zero emission buses over the Spending Review period.
  • Work with Local Transport Authorities to deliver bus priority lanes, more frequent services and cheaper, simpler fares.
  • Reform BSOG to help increase patronage, lower fares and improve environmental outcomes.

In other areas the Government's priorities over the next year include:

  • Taking powers in the Transport Bill to oblige local authorities to produce and implement local charging strategies.
  • Regulating to improve the consumer experience of public charging, such as making it easier to pay.
  • Publishing British Standards Institute (BSI) standards setting out best practice on accessible design of public chargepoints.
  • Taking forward Project Rapid to increase the number of electric vehicle chargepoints on England’s motorways and major A-roads.
  • Delivering a reformed Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme – to focus on renters, leaseholders and those living in flats – and expanded Workplace Charging Scheme.
  • Taking forward the Local EV Infrastructure Fund (LEVI) to support local authorities, working with industry, to deliver charging for drivers without off-street parking.

Responding to the review's publication Zemo Partnership's Policy Director Jonathan Murray said: "It's good to see the progress we've made over the last year in decarbonising UK road transport and to have further clarity in terms of what the Government plans to achieve over the coming year.

"I welcome the fact that Zemo's contribution to developing the zero emission powered light vehicle sector is highlighted in the review. The Partnership has also been very active in supporting the TDP across a range of priority areas including the decarbonisation of buses and heavy duty vehicles and, through its facilitation of the EV Energy Taskforce, in the building blocks necessary to optimise the benefits of the transition to electric vehicles with regards to the energy sector.

"We've also been very active in the area of renewable fuels, developing the successful Renewable Fuels Assurance Scheme and paving the way for the adoption of E10 petrol as standard since September 2021."

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