All new heavy goods vehicles in the UK will be zero-emission by 2040, the UK government has confirmed today (10 November 2021). This, combined with the UK’s 2030 phase out for petrol and diesel cars and vans, represents a world-leading pledge to end the sale of all polluting road vehicles within the next 2 decades.
The UK will become the first country in the world to commit to phasing out new, non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035, with all new HGVs sold in the UK to be zero emission by 2040.
This comes as new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commissioned by the UK COP Presidency and published today, shows the progress made in the passenger vehicle market:
- 31% of the global passenger vehicle market is now covered by vehicle manufacturer commitments to end sales of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, up from a near zero share of the market at the start of 2021
- global sales of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) have grown dramatically since 2019 from 2.1 million to 5.3 million
- ZEVs are forecast to be 70% of all new car sales in 2040, with this projection having doubled in the last 5 years
- 19% of 2020 passenger vehicles sales were in countries that now have an internal combustion engine (ICE) phase-out date, up from 5% in 2019
A group of ministers and industry leaders committed to working towards 100% zero emission new car and van sales by 2040 or earlier met at Transport Day at COP26. Thirty-two countries, 6 major vehicle manufacturers (GM, Ford, Mercedes, BYD, Volvo, JLR), 39 cities, states and regions, 28 fleets and 13 investors all jointly set out their determination for all new car and van sales to be zero emission by 2040 globally and 2035 in leading markets.
In this group, companies like Sainsbury’s and countries including El Salvador and New Zealand are today making new commitments to 100% zero emission vehicles. They follow proposals made by the EU, Chile, Canada and a number of US states this year to ensure all new cars are zero emission by 2035. Also announced today, a number of emerging markets and developing economies have committed to work to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles in their markets, including India, Ghana, Kenya, Paraguay, Rwanda and Turkey.
As one of the new Glasgow Breakthroughs launched by the Prime Minister at the World Leaders Summit, 30 countries have agreed to work together to make zero emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions by 2030 or sooner.
This goal is guiding the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council (ZEVTC), which will today meet with distinguished representatives, including experts on the transition in emerging markets and developing economies, to discuss how international collaboration can support a global transition. The council will launch its first annual action plan, which sets out areas for sustained international cooperation to accelerate the transition during 2022. Also announced today, the US will join the UK as co-chair of the ZEVTC, reflecting the council’s growing ambition over the coming years.
Several initiatives are being launched today to help ensure a global and equitable transition to ZEVs and support the acceleration of transport decarbonisation. This includes the World Bank’s Global Facility to Decarbonise Transport – a multi-donor trust fund that will mobilise US$200 million over the next 10 years to support the decarbonisation of road transport in emerging markets and developing economies in the Global South. Today, the UK announced a £4 million initial contribution to the fund, which will support these countries to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport and build greener and more resilient economies.
The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK have produced an in-depth analysis of the issues faced by the industry to achieve the government’s objectives. The article can be accessed here.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “From our roads to the skies, the transition to zero emission transport has reached a tipping point. We know that transport plays a key role saving the planet from warming above 1.5°C, which is why this is the COP that will kick start our ambition for zero emission aviation and why I’m proud to be uniting world leaders to tackle climate change – creating new opportunities for clean growth, green jobs and improved air quality right across the globe.
“To support the transition to EVs, it’s integral that we have the infrastructure to support it. My vision is for the UK to have one of the best EV infrastructure networks in the world, with excellent British design at its heart.”
Eighteen states from across the world, representing over 40% of global aviation emissions, have also today committed to work together to achieve an ambitious new aviation decarbonisation target through the International Civil Aviation Organization, as part of a new International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition. Together with the World Economic Forum and other governments, the UK is also leading efforts to accelerate the global uptake of sustainable aviation fuels.
Nineteen governments have also stated their intent to support the establishment of green shipping corridors – zero-emission shipping routes between 2 ports. This will involve deploying zero-emission vessel technologies and putting alternative fuel and charging infrastructure in place in ports to allow for zero emission shipping on key routes across the globe. This could in turn mean that taking a zero emission ferry could be part of our holidays, or that everyday household goods, including food and clothes, could soon arrive on zero emission ships.
Twenty-eight offshore wind industry stakeholders have committed to work together toward making zero emission operations and maintenance vessels a reality in the North Sea by 2025.
BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “Today’s announcement is a welcome update and will support the industry in its drive towards decarbonisation. BVRLA members are already leading the way in making positive changes and it’s vital that regulations acknowledge the different challenges experienced from one vehicle type to another.
“Use cases of HGVs vary significantly, so we welcome the government’s intention to consult on derogations that will enable a fair and achievable transition. The BVRLA looks forward to working with the government on the delivery plan that will be essential in ensuring the UK road transport network can be decarbonised successfully.
“The approach must be comprehensive, particularly around HGVs where the barriers remain huge. The recent funding that was announced to support trials of zero emission technology for the sector is a very positive step, and we eagerly await the clarity this will bring to help meet the phase-out dates.”
Olly Craughan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at DPDgroup UK Ltd said: “We totally support the withdrawal of the selling of new, non-zero emission HGVs in the UK by 2035, as we do the sale of new diesel/petrol final mile fleet vehicles by 2030. We would urge all parties involved in the supply of alternative green HGVs to press the fast forward button on their development plans so businesses like ourselves can make the transition as soon as possible.
“DPD is one of the brands leading the way on the decarbonisation of fleets but bringing down the cost of green HGVs and creating adequate supply will be essential to the UK hitting this target.”
Oliver Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Kalibrate: “The UK government’s pledge to make all HGVs zero-emission by 2040 demonstrates the ongoing need to invest in EVs. That said, it’s important to align, creating a joint strategy for fleet and passenger vehicles – in turn – allowing for greater society-wide EV awareness and appetite. Although we are still in the early phases of the adoption cycle, a successful EV strategy must include not only the EV driver of today but also businesses and wider industries. Initiatives such as unveiling a new design for electric vehicle charge points to raise awareness will help address concerns that nearly half (48%) of UK EV drivers remain worried about running out of charge. Nevertheless, as the demand for EVs propels forward, innovators and early adopters will be joined by car manufacturers that have made their name in traditional combustion engines and fossil fuels; Ford and Volkswagen to name but a few.
“Recent supply chain concerns, such as fuel running low, provide more evidence that a strong EV charging network could plug the gap. However, if organisations want an effective roll-out in the future they must be guided by data. Car manufacturers old and new will only better understand the driver of the future, emphasising regional variances and creating personalised profiles, if they can unearth data-driven insights. Transforming the car production process, enabling industries to move into a future of EVs, and meeting the government’s ambitious, but necessary, environmental objectives is now a must.”
Jon Lawes, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions said: “We welcome the significant announcement with the UK becoming the first country to commit to phasing out new non-zero emission HGVs within the next two decades.
“Clarity on the decarbonisation roadmap of HGVs marks a real step change, however, the journey to achieve greener HGVs is complex with the transition requiring urgent technological development of viable alternative fuels and refuelling infrastructure.
“In the same way we’ve already made huge strides in the decarbonisation of cars and vans, we now need to see Government and the haulage industry come together to accelerate the transition of HGVs which is integral to realising a comprehensive cleaner UK road transport network.
“With many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers committing to the supply of zero emission vehicles globally by 2040, Transport Day has been a defining moment on the journey to tackling climate change.
Ben Fletcher, Associate Director of EV, Moixa: “It’s great to see the commitment from the UK government and 23 other countries to work towards 100% zero emission new car and van sales by 2040 or earlier. However, vehicle manufacturers, governments and technology providers need to come together to support mass adoption of electric vehicles if we are to enact any real change. One single entity on its own cannot drive the change needed to hit the target of 100% zero-emission new car sales by 2040. Unless all three parties come together, the UK will struggle. We will see the biggest uptick of EVs where manufacturers offer a broad range of products, governments provide financial incentives for businesses and consumers to make the switch to EVs, all supported by reliable and easy to use infrastructure.
“Intelligent EV charging is an important tool to facilitate the switch to EVs. This enables greater control over the power in the vehicle while also providing greater access to cheaper, greener energy. By making EV charging – and therefore EV batteries – smarter through AI and machine learning, electric vehicles can optimise power renewable sources while maximising the value of energy. This smart ecosystem will be vital in ensuring that EVs not only bring immediate environmental benefits, but also support balancing the increase in demand of energy from the grid by enabling vehicle telemetry, tariffs and charging points to interact with each other more closely.
“Smart EV charging is a key part of the puzzle if we hope to achieve complete electrification of transport.”