The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has published its new annual work programme with net zero as the clear, ultimate destination.
During the next 12 months, LowCVP will continue to be supported by the Departments for Transport, Business (BEIS) and Defra’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU), helping to navigate policy and initiatives in the next phase of the transition to a net zero transport system.
This period will be critical for road transport as Government consults on plans to phase-out cars and vans with internal combustion engines within 15 years and promises to publish a broader Transport Decarbonisation Plan by the end of this year.
LowCVP managing director Andy Eastlake said: “The new work programme fires the starting gun on a decade of change for transport with vehicles, infrastructure and connectivity providing the tools to meet the UK’s need to deliver sustainability in terms of energy, mobility and behaviour.
“The LowCVP and its members will continue to be at the centre of this exciting transition as industry reinvents itself for net zero.”
The organisation will broaden its reach and membership into new industries and sectors, to include:
- Maximising the market (and carbon savings) of renewable fuels in the current vehicle fleet
- Unlocking the potential carbon benefits from the PLV (powered light vehicle) sector
- Supporting drivers to adopt electric cars and vans and helping deliver the electric energy system needed to power them
- Embracing the role of hydrogen in the road transport sector
- Driving zero emission solutions for urban public transport in buses and taxis
- Supporting the freight and commercial vehicle community to decarbonise with the best vehicles and fuels for the task
While significant progress has been made in decarbonising and electrifying cars in recent years, commercial vehicles – particularly long-haul trucks and coaches – remain harder-to-electrify.
The Partnership says it will continue to intensify activities around the critical challenge of road freight decarbonisation, while helping shape the right metrics to assess ‘carbon per tonne mile’.
In the near term, ensuring the economic recovery is focused on accelerating the shifts already underway for electric light vehicles, renewably-powered HGVs and low or zero emission journeys wherever possible, will be the most important activity for members.
Specific fuels-related projects will look at measures to improve the uptake of high blend biofuels by commercial fleets. In parallel, the Partnership will continue its efforts to ensure a successful introduction of E10 (10% ethanol mix) in petrol.
There is increasing interest in the role of hydrogen as an energy vector with significant potential to contribute to road transport decarbonisation. Recognising this, the LowCVP is creating a new multi-stakeholder hydrogen interest group which aims to identify key interventions needed to unlock the potential for the fuel.
The UK’s bus sector has been a particularly bright spot for transport decarbonisation; there are now well over 6,000 low carbon emission buses on UK roads. The LowCVP has played a prominent role in laying down the foundations for progress in the bus sector and will progress a range of activities over the coming year.
There will be a new focus on extending the ultra-low emission bus scheme to coaches and minibuses and ongoing work to encourage the adoption of zero emission buses, including through a series of zero emission workshops to identify and share best practice with potential new operators.
Creating an energy infrastructure matched to the needs for 21st century mobility will be a key focus of the Partnership’s new work programme. Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce 2.0 and the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group will build on momentum developed by the original Taskforce, ensuring that 21 separate proposals to Government and industry to make sure that the UK’s electricity network is ready for the mass take up of electric vehicles are turned into actionable plans and effectively delivered.