Local government and business leaders in the South East have reiterated their call for a targeted action plan to speed up the UK’s switch to electric vehicles.
The call follows new research from Transport for the South East (TfSE),which showed that even if 100% of cars were electric by 2050, along with 80% of vans and 60% of HGVs, vehicle carbon emissions would still be around 13% of today’s levels.
TfSE, a body created to improve the transport network and grow the local economy, has made the calls ahead of a government announcement bringing forward the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales to 2030.
The body brings together representatives of 16 transport authorities and five local enterprise partnerships and has now set out a package of support measures aimed at both consumers and the automotive industry.
These include financial incentives for drivers, improved electric vehicle charging infrastructure and grants to encourage manufacturers to shift production to zero emissions models.
Councillor Keith Glazier, chair of Transport for the South East, said: “Ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be a critical point on the UK’s journey to zero carbon emissions, but agreeing a date is not enough.
“Whether the target is 2040, 2035 or 2030, it must be accompanied by a clear and costed action plan setting out how we are going to reach this important milestone.
“It will need investment at a time when we’ve already spent billions dealing with the impact of Covid-19.
“As painful as this might be, it pales against the financial and economic consequences if we fail to act properly.”