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Energy UK joins businesses to call on PM to be more ambitious on electric vehicles

Ahead of the seminal international Zero Emission Vehicles Summit in London tomorrow, Energy UK has joined WWF-UK, businesses and energy companies to call on the Prime Minister Theresa May to be more ambitious on delivering low carbon transport.

A broad coalition of businesses – from Sky to Aviva, Zip Car to Wilmott Dixon - have signed the letter to the Prime Minister to welcome the ambition set out in the recent Road to Zero strategy and urge the Government to go further to enable these ambitions to become a reality, including to accelerate the phase-out of new petrol and diesel vehicles; and ensure supportive electric vehicle sales targets and policies.

The letter also calls for the forthcoming Budget to be used to eliminate short-term barriers to electric vehicle uptake by addressing the cliff-edge in company car benefit-in-kind tax rates which serve to disincentive zero-emission uptake before 2020/21, and bring forward the 2% rate to 2019/20.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:

“Taking the right action now would show clear global leadership and enable the UK to continue to be a leading market for low carbon transport. Energy UK has long been calling for the Government to go further and faster to encourage a mass uptake of electric vehicles to the benefit of our environment, the economy and consumers.” 

Tony Juniper, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF, said:

“Transport is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the UK, so it’s encouraging to see such broad business support to get the UK in the fast lane to a clean economy. If we are to protect nature from the increasing threats of climate change, we must be truly ambitious in cutting our emissions and aim for 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030.”

Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business at Sky said:

“At Sky, we are committed to a low carbon future and we became the first carbon neutral media company in 2006.  We’ve invested in electric vehicle charging points at our own sites and we’re reviewing the feasibility of alternative fuel vehicles for our cars and vans. As part of this we’re working with others to make sure the uptake of zero emissions vehicles is viable and that is why we are joining this call to the government to support this vital transition.”

Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability at Aviva said:

‘Climate change and air quality are first and second order risks for a Life and Health Insurance company like Aviva. For our customers, we seek to increase prevention and improve protection from the impacts of extreme weather and poor air quality. We see the transition to EV based economy as a key milestone to achieving this. In our trade car fleet, more than 50% of new car orders are plug-in or hybrids. We are also extending electric vehicle charging stations across Aviva offices and using electricity generated from renewable sources. This all helps support our decade old carbon neutral stance.’

The letter comes ahead of the international Zero Emission Vehicles Summit 2018 (11 Sept, London) which brings together ministers, industry leaders and sector representatives from around the world to tackle carbon emissions and to find ways to improve air quality.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. Link to the full published letter
  2. The international Zero Emission Vehicle Summit takes place 11 to 12 September 2018. Further information here
  3. Energy UK leads a cross-sector electric vehicle working group as well as participating in both the Government’s and the Mayor of London’s electric vehicle task forces. Following a consultation on smart charging standards, Energy UK has also recently launched the EV Charging Forum which brings together a young industry of charge point operators together for the first time.  Energy UK’s recent letter to the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling calling for greater ambition on EVs can be read here.
  4. WWF has commissioned analysis on a 2030 phase-out from Vivid Economics which found that:
    A 2030 phase out will get us closer to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, bridging roughly half of the gap to the UK’s legally binding 2030 carbon targets and taking 7 million petrol and diesel cars off the road. Ending the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles a decade earlier is likely to attract new manufacturing investment into electric vehicles helping to add £3bn to the UK economy and create 14,000 jobs in the auto industry. The social cost of UK air pollution will be slashed by around £300m in 2030, reflecting lower levels of disease, avoided healthcare costs and improved productivity. Under a 2030 phase-out, the cost of charging an electric car could be under £100 a year by 2030, thanks to smart charging and vehicle to grid, compared to an annual petrol/diesel bill of around £800. The findings of the research can be read in full here.
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