Government should encourage all types of zero emission vehicles to achieve net zero, pleads UKPIA, as the EU 


UKPIA is calling on Government to allow all types of zero emission cars and vans (ZEVs) in the future rather than focus narrowly on electric vehicles to decarbonise transport.

In response to a Government consultation on the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, UKPIA says Government needs take a ‘technology neutral’ approach to achieve the most efficient path to net zero.

The Department for Transport will only allow ZEVs with no exhaust emissions such as battery or fuel cell electric vehicles. This contrasts with the EU, which recently announced it will allow ZEVs powered by e-fuels after 2035 to help achieve net zero. UKPIA believes the UK should follow suit.

UKPIA CEO, Elizabeth de Jong, said: “Vehicles with no tailpipe emissions will have a hugely important role in decarbonising the UK’s transport sector and we have provided constructive feedback so that the Government’s Mandate can support their rollout.

“However, as the EU has already acknowledged, use of low carbon fuels can also meet sustainability requirements and offer combustion engine vehicles a route to net zero.

“A technology-neutral policy would allow emissions from cars and vans to be correctly assessed over their full product lifecycle - from production, to use and recycling. It would also mean that consumer choice, rather than Government policy, would drive the multiple decarbonisation technologies needed for net zero.”

In its response to the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and CO2 emissions regulation for new cars and vans in the UK, UKPIA said it disagrees with the narrow definition of ZEVs within the Mandate’s scope, as emitting no CO2 from the exhaust fails to account for the lifecycle emissions of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), and disadvantages internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) that, when powered by low-carbon liquid fuels or hydrogen (H2 ICE), can meet the same emissions reductions requirements.

The EU has already acknowledged, the use of low-carbon fuels can also meet sustainability requirements and offer combustion engine vehicles a route to net zero too. UKPIA believes the UK should introduce a technology-neutral policy that can let the use of multiple decarbonisation technologies be driven by consumer choices rather than policy.

UKPIA said it does not agree with the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, as proposed in the consultation, believing its scope is too narrow and misses out key technologies that could deliver net zero across the car fleet.

See UKPIA’s full response to the consultation A Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate and CO2 Emissions Regulation for New Cars and Vans in the UK: here.