The UK’s journey to net zero is set for a boost after the Government detailed a range of measures to turbocharge the country’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and promote the production of sustainable aviation fuel.
Almost £400m of investment has been launched, including £381m for the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure fund and a further £15m for the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme, which, together, will support the installation of tens of thousands of new chargers up and down the country.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper described the move as “a great stride forward” towards expanding the public’s options for sustainable travel.
The news also comes as the Department for Transport launches a public consultation for its “world-leading” zero emission vehicle mandate that, from 2024, will set yearly goals for the percentage of new vehicle sales that must be zero emission.
The announcement is designed to give the industry long-term stability by increasing opportunities to buy zero emission vehicles, ultimately enabling sector partners to accelerate the installation of charging infrastructure.
The Minister for Technology and Decarbonisation, Jesse Norman said the move represents the UK “leading the way in decarbonising transport”.
With aviation projected to become one of the largest emitting sectors by 2050, the Government has also rolled out the second application round for the £165m Advanced Fuels Fund, which will work towards the pledge to have a minimum of five commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel plants in the pipeline by 2025.
The support for the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels is “another step towards making Jet Zero a reality,” according to Aviation Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton. “Developing a UK sustainable aviation fuel industry will not only put the country at the heart of green aviation worldwide, but also boost investment, jobs and fuel security in the UK.”
Further bolstering the Government’s support for industry is a second consultation on the sustainable aviation fuel mandate, which includes explanations on how the proposed carbon savings will be delivered and what incentives will be provided for the producers of sustainable aviation fuel.
The Government say this will also act as a signal to investors of their intention to ensure sustainable fuels are a crucial part of the future of the country’s aviation industry.