The Joint Head of the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles has reminded delegates at the Transport + Energy Forum “Taking Action to Decarbonise Now” that the quickest way to decarbonise the country, is to decarbonise transport.
In the keynote address at the Forum, Katie Black said that there is a consensus building among nations to deliver the phase out of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars by 2030 – something led by the UK.
She looked back to 2011 when OZEV (or OLEV as it was then) was set up, there were 1,052 electric vehicles on the road, compared to more than half a million now, with EV sales doubling each year over the past two years.
“The UK is doing pretty well for current EV drivers,” she told the Forum. “Most EV drivers would not switch back to traditional vehicles, so we know we’re doing well. While we are overseeing a market-driven approach to EV charge points, we will step in when needed. But we don’t know how many charge points we’ll need by 2030 because there are so many variables, but we think at least 10 times more than the 35,000 we have now.”
She set out the Government’s charge point strategy which includes making them easy to find and use, easy to compare prices, reliable, and easy to pay.
The Government will support local and en-route charging through the Rapid Charging Fund and the Local EV Infrastructure Fund, which is designed to deliver a step change in the delivery of local on-street charge points available for people without off-street parking, and to work with industry to deliver this. It has also established a support body to help local authorities develop their strategies, funding proposals and getting the best commercial terms.
Ms Black also talked about the need to decarbonise HGVs, pointing to multiple carbon-free trials starting next year.
“There’s lots to do, and we would be silly to suggest otherwise,” she concluded. “It needs the brains and energy from many different people and different organisations, and lots of hard work, but I’m sure we all agree it’s worth it.”