The UK government has taken the wraps off its Road To Zero plan, which seeks to increase the number of zero and ultra low emissions vehicles on its roads and requires most new homes to be equipped with an EV charge point. “The prize is not just a cleaner and healthier environment but a U.K. economy fit for the future and the chance to win a substantial slice of a market estimated to be worth up to 7.6 trillion pounds by 2050,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement, according to a report by Bloomberg.
One of the key components of the plan is a $530 million investment in EV charging infrastructure. “This in reaction to range anxiety, or the idea that the mass adoption of electric cars won’t happen until people are comfortable with the idea of driving a battery-operated vehicle long distances,” says Jalopnik.
In an official statement, the government said, “It is our intention that all new homes, where appropriate, should have a charge point available. We plan to consult as soon as possible on introducing a requirement for charge point infrastructure for new dwellings in England.” In addition, all new street light poles will be equipped with a charger in places with on street parking. Another $50 million will go to promote wireless charging technology.
The UK has pledged to ban the sale of cars and light duty vans with internal combustion engines by 2040 as part of its effort to protect its citizens from the poisons that spew from the tailpipes of conventional vehicles. While carbon dioxide contributes to climate change, the nitrous oxides and particulates emitted by gasoline and diesel engines are known to cause serious health issues, especially asthma.
Secretary Grayling added the following thoughts to his statement. “The coming decades are going to be transformative for our motor industry, our national infrastructure, and the way we travel. We expect to see more change in the transport sector over the next 10 years than we have in the previous century. We are expecting our economy and society to experience profound change, which is why we have marked the Future of mobility as one of the 4 grand challenges as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution — ensuring that the UK has cleaner air, a better environment and a stronger economy.”
There is a little wiggle room in the zero emissions vehicle plan, with some hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles potentially qualifying for ultra low emissions status. Nonetheless, the UK is doing what the US should be doing but won’t. The UK at least has a plan for reducing its emissions. The US has none and is intent on going full speed back to a time when titans of industry could do anything damn thing they wanted regardless of the cost to society. The only hope America has is that modern industry will chart a course toward sustainability despite what the government does rather than because of it.
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