The Government has now turned the spotlight on reducing the transport sector’s contribution to net zero by 2050 – vital given it was responsible for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.
It’s ‘not about stopping people doing things, it’s about doing the same things differently’ is the emphasis in the transport decarbonisation plan (TDP, see page 10). In other words, it involves some changes in behaviour.
So how can things be done differently? In part, the Government plans to change some of the transport hardware: phasing out more petrol and diesel vehicles, including heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses, and replacing them with more electric and hydrogen vehicles, removing diesel from railways with more electrification and hydrogen and much more. All this as we approach 2050.
As we have seen with the shift to electric vehicles (EVs), these changes require users to manage their cars differently to get around. At Transport Focus, we researched drivers’ views and 27% told us they were likely to buy an EV in the next five years. We found several barriers to EV use. For example, 46% were concerned about the costs of buying/leasing an EV, feeling it is prohibitively expensive for many at the moment, even for those who want to do the right thing. And 44% were concerned about where to charge a vehicle, a particular worry on longer journeys.