Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership 2020 – driving to a zero emissions future

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Fri 29 May 2020 View all news

(Media Release) At this time of dramatic reassessment for the future of road transport, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has received cross-government commitment to its model of partnership working and today publishes its new annual work programme with net zero as the clear, ultimate destination.

Building on 17-years of achievement (link) the next 12 months will see LowCVP continue to be supported by the Departments for Transport, Business (BEIS) and Defra’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU), helping to navigate policy and initiatives in the next phase of the transition to a net zero transport system.

2020-21 will be critical for road transport as Government consults on plans to phase-out cars and vans with internal combustion engines within 15 years and promises to publish a broader Transport Decarbonisation Plan by the end of this year. LowCVP – with our 200+ members - will be highly active in supporting Government to deliver tangible policies and effective outcomes.

The work will continue to develop the evidence and knowledge-base needed, via research and consensus, but - recognising the increasing complexity - LowCVP will broaden its reach and membership into related industries and sectors. 

Highlights include:

  • Maximising the market (and carbon savings) of renewable fuels in the current vehicle fleet
  • Unlocking the potential carbon benefits from the PLV (powered light vehicle) sector
  • Supporting drivers to adopt electric cars and vans and helping deliver the electric energy system needed to power them.
  • Embracing the role of hydrogen in the road transport sector
  • Driving zero emission solutions for urban public transport in buses and taxis
  • Supporting the vital freight and commercial vehicle community to decarbonise with the best vehicles and fuels for the task.

As is the case for many organisations, during the lockdown resulting from Covid-19, the Partnership has had to significantly overhaul working arrangements, successfully continuing to support Government and our members while creating a platform to launch the next phase of decarbonisation. We have learned to operate effectively, with all meetings and collaborations held ‘virtually’ and attendance significantly exceeding physical pre-lockdown levels (reaching 180 or more).

As the mobility, energy and, indeed, digital systems become more integrated and co-dependant, we will also continue the ground-breaking work to help deliver the actions of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce - convened by LowCVP  and involving over 350 organisations from across the energy and mobility sectors – which reported its findings and recommendations earlier this year.

Commenting on the new work programme, LowCVP Managing Director Andy Eastlake said: “The new work programme fires the starting gun on a decade of change for transport with vehicles, infrastructure and connectivity providing the tools to meet the UK’s need to deliver sustainability in terms of energy, mobility and behaviour. 

“The LowCVP and its members will continue to be at the centre of this exciting transition as industry reinvents itself for net zero. Come and join the Partnership for what promises to be an exciting road to a zero emissions future!”


ANNEX: Work programme further details

A fundamental building block of all LowCVP’s work is the creation of a level playing field for the assessment of the energy used to power road transport, with sustainability and full ‘well to wheel’ (or ‘turbine to tyre’) carbon impacts at its core.  The application of renewable liquid and gaseous fuels, particularly in HDVs, and ensuring efficient use of renewable electricity across the multitude of potential pathways to transport, will be crucial to the delivery of a true net zero solution.

While significant progress has been made in decarbonising and electrifying cars in recent years, commercial vehicles – particularly long-haul trucks and coaches – remain harder-to-electrify. The Partnership will continue to intensify activities around the critical challenge of road freight decarbonisation, while helping shape the right metrics to assess ‘carbon per tonne mile’.  Low carbon goods movement and people journeys will be a central pillar of our vision of new mobility metrics for society.

In the near term, ensuring the economic recovery is focused on accelerating the shifts already underway for electric light vehicles, renewably-powered HGVs and low or zero emission journeys wherever possible, will be the most important activity for members.

Specific fuels-related projects will look at measures to improve the uptake of high blend biofuels by commercial fleets. In parallel, the Partnership will continue its efforts to ensure a successful introduction of E10 (10% ethanol mix) in petrol.

There is increasing interest in the role of hydrogen as an energy vector with significant potential to contribute to road transport decarbonisation. Recognising this, the LowCVP is creating a new multi-stakeholder hydrogen interest group which aims to identify key interventions needed to unlock the potential for the fuel.

The UK’s bus sector has been a particularly bright spot for transport decarbonisation; there are now well over 6,000 low carbon emission buses on UK roads. The LowCVP has played a prominent role in laying down the foundations for progress in the bus sector and will progress a range of activities over the coming year.

There will be a new focus on extending the ultra-low emission bus scheme to coaches and minibuses and ongoing work to encourage the adoption of zero emission buses, including through a series of zero emission workshops to identify and share best practice with potential new operators.

Creating an energy infrastructure matched to the needs for 21st century mobility will be a key focus of the Partnership’s new work programme.  Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce 2.0 and the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group will build on momentum developed by the original Taskforce, ensuring that 21 separate proposals to Government and industry to make sure that the UK’s electricity network is ready for the mass take up of electric vehicles are turned into actionable plans and effectively delivered.


For the full media release see this page.

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