Yesterday's Transport Day at COP26 saw another raft of commitments from countries, financiers and industry towards an inevitable transition towards a future of Electric Vehicles.

Most notable of these was the leading COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emissions cars and vans which set out means by which the signatories would work towards all new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040 (2035 in developing markets).

More locally, the UK Govt also pledged that all new heavy goods vehicles in the UK will be zero emission by 2040.  This pledge combined with the UK Govt 2030 phase out of petrol and diesel cars and vans underlines the writing that was already on the wall for the phased end of combustible engine for vehicles in the UK.

The ambition of the regulations and the policy driving these change may now (in the UK at least) represent the tipping point which shifts the balance for consumers, manufacturers, and industry into investment in net zero vehicles.   

Beyond that tipping point, the focus becomes even sharper on the urgency to deliver a comprehensive, accessible and fairly distributed network of charging infrastructure and affordable electric vehicle solutions for consumers.  Key to delivery of these objectives will be the speed at which public and private investment capital is injected into the EV industry.

It is great therefore to read the Green Finance Institute's report "Road to Zero - Unlocking Public and Private Capital to Decarbonise Road Transport" also issued on COP26 Transport Day.  The report sets out a whole menu of demonstrator financial solutions/products that have been considered and developed by the Green Finance Institute with support from cross-sector leaders in the industry.

From our experience supporting clients delivering EV projects, given the range of EV solutions, commercial models and innovative technologies in the market it is clear there could not be a "one-size fits all" approach to public/private funding.  The inclusion in the report therefore of 18 demonstrator solutions - some of which are already at play in the market - will facilitate a "horses for courses" approach whereby public/private funding solutions are appropriately matched to the objectives and risks of the EV project.        

I am sure as these novel financial solutions roll out there will be an inevitable tension between the need to meet tight EV project timeframes and the want to create robust precedents usable in contracting future projects - "do it right and do it once".  On that issue and many others we look forward to continue to working with industry to unlock finance for EV projects and maintain the momentum as we "tip" fully into an EV future.