It has long been accepted that to achieve the seismic structural and societal changes needed to our transport and energy sector to meet Net Zero targets clear policy and detailed plans would be vital.
For that reason the Transport Decarbonisation Plan (the "TDP") has been long awaited by all in the sector.
Although the EV sector has remained buoyant during the pandemic (both in terms of EV sales and EVCP roll out) - systemic issues concerning charge point infrastructure distribution, ability on investors to rely on EV uptake models and energy grid capacity remain.
The TDP has therefore rightly be welcomed by the EV market as a re-statement of government support for EV roll out and setting out new commitments that will work to further accelerate change.
Although the TDP has attracted all the headlines and commentary, from an EV perspective the more useful document is probably the "Transitioning to zero emission cars and vans: 2035 Delivery Plan" where the key EV milestones and timeframes have been helpfully drawn together.
For those that have yet to digest the TDP and the 2035 Delivery Plan - some of the key highlights are set out below:
* Vans and trucks - (from) 2035 end date for sale of smaller diesel/petrol vans and trucks (less than 3.5t) with vehicles weighing more the 26t to be zero emissions by 2040.
* Zero Emission govt fleet of vehicles - central government fleet of 40,000 vehicles to be zero emission by 2027. This sits alongside action also being by other authorities including GLA, NHS and regional local authority commitments and broadly (give or take a few years) mirrors commitments by large sector private organizations (including Royal Mail, Fleet Alliance, Lloyds Banking Group, Open Reach etc.).
* Consultation - to consult on a zero emission vehicle mandate (which would make OEM phase out of petrol and diesel vehicles a legal requirement - these options are set out in The Green Paper on an New Road Vehicle CO2 Emissions Regulatory Framework), domestic battery legislation to ensure it is fit for purpose and a requirement for all chargepoints to have smart capability.
* Funding - commitment to a host of (existing and new) funding pots and government interventions to support EV charging infrastructure including the Rapid Charge Fund, the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, On-Street Residential Scheme, Local EV Infrastructure Fund, the Electric Vehicle Homecharging Scheme and the Workplace Charging Scheme.
* Regulations - future plans to regulate for new-builds (residential and non-residential) with parking space to have a chargepoint and measures to improve sharing of chargepoint data and pricing.
* Tax - favourable company car tax (CCT) rates for zero emission vehicles until at least 2025 and zero emission vehicles exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty until 2025.
* Strategy - future key policy documents to be published including the EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy, Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, Net Zero Strategy, Ofgems Action Plan and the Hydrogen Strategy.
There is clearly lots within the plan to be positive about. The private sector could and should be able to leverage off the commitment and support set out by government to continue to drive the EV roll out. For the last few years the question of EV roll out, for some, has not been "if" but "when". The TDP will play its part in allowing further clarity and certainty to the sector on the latter.
As advisors to authorities and EV clients we look forward to working with both to support the delivery of these ambitious targets and helping them to navigate through the fast moving and ever evolving regulatory regime in which they exist.