Season's greetings to all readers from the LowCVP team!
At the end of a year that has been in equal measure both challenging and momentous, the LowCVP team would like to wish all newsletter readers a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and start to 2021. If 2020 signalled the beginning of the end of the 'ICE age', 2021 is surely set to be another hugely significant year in terms of road transport decarbonisation as we'll see the publication of the Government's Transport Decarbonisation Plan and the international CoP26 event in Glasgow, both clearly signposting the way on the road to zero.
Indeed, 2020 has seen disruption to our transport systems of an unprecedented scale. Like all disruption, this has created challenges and opportunities. While efficient public transport has suffered as people heed advice to socially distance, many have seen the benefits and efficiencies of remote working, showing the potential of new technologies to reduce the demand for travel.
On the technology front, 2020 may well come to be seen as the year when plug-in electric cars and vans really began to break through into the mainstream. November should the ULEV market at 9.6% of new car sales, tantalisingly close to the 10% target postulated in 2002 at the creation of the LowCVP! With vehicle range and model options improving by the week, the practicality and total ownership cost benefits of EVs are becoming clear to many more drivers; more and more are saying that their next car will certainly have a plug.
There are signs of progress as well, though there's further to go, in the freight sector. A growing range of battery electric vehicles designed for urban and short-haul deliveries are already on the market and many more are on the way. There is an increasingly focused debate on whether batteries could work for longer haul freight, supported by innovative power delivery infrastructure, perhaps. Renewable hydrogen has certainly moved up the agenda and could have a role for freight if innovation in both energy and transport areas begins to coalesce in a positive way. Biomethane, too, is already powering several fleets and ultra-low carbon combustion fuel looks set for a significant medium-term role, at least.
LowCVP's Managing Director Andy Eastlake says: "2020 has thrown many challenges at all of us in the ways we live and work but we've got through them through a combination, in particular, of innovation and persistence. We'll need to learn from this experience and double-down on these qualities if we're to achieve the overall target of net zero by 2050.
"In the next few years it's clear that the targets must move from low to zero greenhouse gas emissions and the Partnership is picking up that gauntlet"
"But for the moment, it's time to down tools and recharge the batteries (smartly of course!) and return refreshed, enthused, confident and ambitious for the challenges to come."
"Best wishes for 2021 and season's greetings to all!"
Please note: LowCVP staff will be talking a 'recharging break' from Monday December 21 to Monday 4 January. Please copy any enquiries needing an earlier response to the LowCVP Secretariat.
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