Downing Street reaffirms the UK Government's electric vehicle commitments

The Prime Minister has announced that the Office for Low Emission Vehicles will conduct a review into electric vehicle charging infrastructure whilst reaffirming other UK net zero initiatives

10 July 2019

Introduction

On Monday 1 July, Prime Minster Theresa May reiterated the Government’s Industrial Strategy commitments in relation to the “Grand Challenges”, which include:

  • Artificial intelligence and data;
  • Ageing society;
  • Clean growth; and
  • The future of mobility.

The PM’s comments on the “Future of mobility” were particularly welcome, emphasising the importance of the UK’s net zero goals. Over recent years, the UK has driven forward a range of initiatives in this area, including:

  • The Air Quality Plan for Nitrogen Dioxide;
  • The Industrial Strategy and Automotive Sector Deal;
  • The Road to Zero transport strategy; and
  • The framework established within the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018.

Key points

In particular, four key areas were highlighted by the PM:

  • The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (“OLEV”) will conduct a review in relation to how the UK can build a national high-speed electric vehicle charging infrastructure – the results of which will be announced in the Autumn; 
  • The £1 billion investment to date in developing battery technologies through the Faraday Institution and Advanced Propulsion Centre (“APC”). These initiatives are accelerating ultra-low emissions vehicle research, with grant funding commitments through the Faraday Battery Challenge and R&D grant competitions run through the APC both ensuring that viable, high-quality projects receive funding;
  • The importance of electric vehicles (“EVs”) in meeting the net zero target for the UK, as well as the job creation the process may bring – EVs, batteries and associated technologies will bring with them new jobs and specialisms; and
  • A meeting of car industry leaders at Downing Street in July to discuss how the sector can secure its long-term future during the transition to electric vehicles.

The PM’s comments come hot on the heels of the Net Zero commitment and during a period of renewed urgency surrounding global efforts to combat climate change. 

The challenges ahead

However, the UK’s road to net zero faces a range of challenges. Our recent article on the “Net Zero policy” ambition analyses the potential pathways to achieving these aims, including the investment required and need for coordinated policy development.

You can read the Prime Minister’s comments in full here.

Burges Salmon LLP

As a market leader in UK infrastructure, energy, environment and transport, Burges Salmon is uniquely placed to assist clients with the opportunities and challenges that the Net Zero and move to low carbon transport target presents. If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we can help you, please contact Ross Fairley.

 

Key contact

Ross Fairley

Ross Fairley Partner

  • Energy, Power and Utilities
  • Head of Renewable Energy
  • Environment

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