The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has announced its first three-year strategic work programme at a reception in Parliament.
Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “This Government is committed to improving air quality and tackling climate change. That is why we are investing almost £1.5bn over this Parliament as part of the drive to reduce emissions from transport.
“The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership continues to play a vital role in supporting these environmental targets.”
The LowCVP’s three-year strategy will have as a central aim, the encouragement of a ‘demand-pull’ for low emissions solutions (vehicles, fuels and – progressively - mobility overall) while continuing to address supply-side ‘blockages’. The LowCVP will continue to embrace the air quality agenda and ensure that it complements the central mission; to deliver on the climate change targets in the context of road transport.
The LowCVP’s core role of providing independent evidence-based information and advice, on which sound future policies can be based and industry can invest, is seen as increasingly important in the current complex and disparate market.
The LowCVP is also announcing that Lombard/NatWest – leading leasing/finance organisations - will be joining the Partnership from April this year. While the LowCVP already has approaching 200 members, there has been less engagement so far from the financing sector, which could have the potential to stimulate much greater demand for the electric and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) which are becoming available in increasing numbers, shapes and sizes.
LowCVP’s managing director Andy Eastlake said: “I am excited by the potential of the vehicle finance sector to contribute to our agenda. As well as Lombard/NatWest, there are signs of growing interest and engagement from other key players in this area.
“Our focus on building consumer demand for ULEVs could be strongly supported by leading financial players who have perhaps the most direct influence on today’s markets. We will be beginning our engagement by focusing on the key areas that financing solutions may be able to unblock.
“I am delighted that our three-year work programme has been supported. It gives us a longer view and greater stability as an organisation, providing the opportunity to strengthen our relationships with stakeholders in key areas.”
Richard Saint, head of energy infrastructure and industrials for Lombard and NatWest, said: “NatWest and Lombard are delighted to be the only financial partners of the LowCVP. How we use energy for transportation is changing dramatically – low carbon and electric vehicles are an increasing area of growth and can make a real impact to helping the UK’s ambition to become a low carbon economy.
“We are committed to becoming a more sustainable bank; a more responsible company, doing business in a more sustainable way and helping our customers do so too. With almost 25 years of experience in the sector and over 300 trained renewable energy banking specialists across the UK, NatWest in association with Lombard, remains committed to providing both finance and support to the sector.”
Darran Messem, chairman, LowCVP said: “Increasing the number of ULEVs on UK roads requires sustained and focused effort to build consumer confidence so the move to a three-year planning horizon, added to growing engagement from the finance/leasing sector, is an important, positive step for the LowCVP and the low emissions road transport agenda.”