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Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles in 2018: Key Highlights

A lot has happened in the area of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles in 2018, including the publication of the Road to Zero, the Prime Minister’s EV Summit, and changes to the plug-in car grant – here’s a summary of the key highlights…



July 9, 2018

The Road to Zero strategy was published on 9 July 2018, which sets out the next steps to cleaner road transport and delivering the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

  • Strategy sets out ambition for at least 50% — and as many as 70% — of new car sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030, alongside up to 40% of new vans
  • Government will take steps to enable massive roll-out of infrastructure to support electric vehicle revolution
  • Strategy sets the stage for the biggest technology advancement to hit UK roads since the invention of the combustion engine

The government has confirmed its ambition to see at least half of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030 as part of plans to make the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle.

The proposals are outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy, which sets out plans to enable a massive expansion of green infrastructure across the country, reduce emissions from the vehicles already on the UK’s roads, and drive the uptake of zero emission cars, vans and trucks.

Together, the measures will put the UK at the forefront of a global revolution in motoring and help to deliver cleaner air, a better environment and a strong clean economy.

Read more about the Road to Zero



September 13, 2018

The Prime Minister, UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Industry & Energy Richard Harrington, all attended the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit that took place in Birmingham on 11 September 2018 – suggesting that electric vehicles are a genuine priority for the government.

However, at the same event, Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover, warned that the ‘wrong Brexit’ would potentially damage JLR’s investment in electric vehicles, as well as create serious problems for the company as a whole.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, explained how the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit aimed to take forward the Road to Zero strategy document, in order to provide more detail about how we will achieve our mission of putting the UK at the forefront of ZEVs by 2040.

The Prime Minister talked about the government “backing the technology of the future” and “Britain leading from the front to spearhead change.” In order to provide some substance behind the words, over £100 million of funding for innovators in new technology was announced on the day of the Summit.

Read more about the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit



October 12, 2018

In October 2018 the government announced changes to the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) resulting in the grant for pure electric vehicles reducing from £4,500 to £3,500, and Plug-in Hybrids will no longer be eligible for the car grant.

The new grant rates came into effect in early November. The government will now focus its support on zero emission models such as pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

The PICG was first introduced in 2011, designed to help stimulate the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles. For the last seven years, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount to the price of over 160,000 new ultra-low emission vehicles.

Read more about the changes to the Plug-in Car Grant