UK signs international zero emission vehicle agreement

The UK has signed an international pledge for all passenger cars to be zero emission by 2050

The government has signed an international commitment to promote cleaner motoring and ensure all passenger vehicles in the UK produce zero emissions from the tailpipe by 2050.

The UK has signed an international pledge for all passenger cars to be zero emission by 2050

The UK has signed an international pledge for all passenger cars to be zero emission by 2050

One of 13 international members of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, the UK signed the agreement last week (December 3) during the COP21 climate conference in Paris.

Other members of the Alliance — which formed in September 2015 with the ambition ‘to increase the global uptake of greener vehicles through international cooperation’ — include Germany, Holland and Norway.

California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont in the United States, as well as Quebec in Canada, have also joined the Alliance.

It follows the Chancellor George Osborne’s recent Autumn Statement pledge to spend £600m on boosting electric vehicle uptake over the next five years (see story).

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The UK already has the largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the EU, and the fourth largest in the world and today’s pledge reaffirms our commitment to ensuring almost every car and van is a zero emission vehicle by 2050.

“Electric cars are greener and cheaper to run and we are making them more affordable, spending more than £600 million between 2015 and 2020 to support the uptake and manufacturing of ultra-low emission vehicles here in the UK.

“By leading international efforts on this issue, we are playing our part in helping achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 1 billion tonnes per year across the world by 2050.”


The pledge agreed by the Alliance members states: “A fundamental strategy to meeting our climate change targets is the development and adoption of vehicle technologies that emit no tailpipe pollutants and can be powered by zero or near-zero carbon energy. ZEVs in use today include battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles help to improve air quality and increase low-carbon development.”

The Alliance said it would, as appropriate for each jurisdiction:

  • Provide incentives to encourage the purchase of ZEVs, and use fiscal policy on vehicles to aid environmental objectives
  • Perform and commission research and development in ZEV technology and social science
  • Plan for and invest in growing ZEV infrastructure
  • Perform public outreach to increase consumer awareness and acceptance
  • Remove any government barriers to ZEVs
  • Implement policies that require the deployment of ZEVs
  • Lead by example through the inclusion of ZEVs in government and public sector fleets
  • Deploy ZEVs when possible in medium-and heavy-duty transportation, including public transit

Meanwhile, the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has also updated its approved charge point model list as part of its Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.


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