Electrification takes centre stage in ‘plan for drivers’

The government has announced a 30-point ‘plan for drivers’, which includes a significant collection of policies on electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure.

Although much of the media focus has been on issuing guidance on 20mph zones for councils and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, the new government policy mainly focuses on electrification and technology, and how to lower emissions and assist drivers on the journey to zero emission transportation.

Important policies for the transport and energy sectors include: 

  1. Plans to review grid connections process for EV charge points, and try to accelerate it as a result.
  2. Speeding up the approvals process for the installation of charge points and support for schools to install them.
  3. Widening eligibility for charge point grants to include cross-pavement solutions.
  4. Guidance on safe cross-pavement solutions and also consultation on expanding permitted development rights to allow for easier installation of private charge points.
  5. In addition, the government also said it would be “working with industry to myth-bust concerns about EVs”. 

Other technology included rolling out the Live Labs 2 programme to explore new low-carbon opportunities for managing local highway networks, supporting the transition to net zero carbon local roads and infrastructure. 

An update called the Green Light Fund would receive £20m to ‘tune up” traffic signals to better reflect traffic conditions, and also deploying AI and machine learning to ensure better traffic flow through cities.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:  “We’re backing drivers and our new long-term plan will improve journeys for millions across the country, whether they’re commuting to work or college, parking up for a day trip, or charging their electric car. 

“Our plan for drivers will support thousands of skilled jobs and help grow the economy, sitting alongside our continued record investment in public transport and active travel – ensuring people have the freedom to travel how they want.”

Industry reaction:

Commenting on the Plan for Drivers, Toby Poston, BVRLA Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “The zero emission motoring elements of this plan show that the Government is focusing on some of the key barriers to wider electric vehicle adoption. Delivering faster grid connections, tackling the challenge of on-street charging and debunking common EV myths are great places to start.” 

Matthew Adams, Transport Policy Manager at the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) said: ”The new announcements regarding changes to policy and regulation which will speed up chargepoint deployment time are a welcome step in the right direction. We are pleased to see many of these are a direct result of our report Charging Forward to 2030 where we made a series of recommendations. We look forward to continuing working with OZEV and DfT to further accelerate chargepoint deployment and grow our members charging networks.”

Image from Shutterstock

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