ULEVs key part of next government's priorities say SMMT

The SMMT is calling on the new government - no matter which party leads it - to back the UK automotive industry going forward, with ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) a key component of its list of priorities.

An extension to the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) and Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) make up part of the report from the UK industry body, within five priorities laid out to be focused on between 2017 and 2022. Along with support for UK manufacturing, research & design, and supply chain infrastructure, there are two priorities that deal specifically green and connected cars.

Under the heading Sustainable Mobility and ULEVs, the SMMT states that "a holistic strategy to support sustainable mobility through the uptake of cleaner technologies and ultra low emission vehicles" is required.

This involves reducing emissions and improving air quality; developing a strategy that moves the UK on to the next stage of ULEV development and production; guaranteeing funding for the uptake of ULEVs, and supporting infrastructure and R&D in low emission technology; working with the automotive industry to tackle air quality issues; and develop a clear approach to vehicle taxation and consumer information.

The section Connected Mobility and Digitalisation proposes that a national strategy be created for the development, testing and roll-out of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs); remove legislative barriers to development of CAVs; develop the UK as an internationally recognised centre of excellence for CAV testing; and develop cyber security to support CAV testing and public acceptance.

Fortunately, many of the manifestos published from political parties do look to address the UK automotive industry's requests, and with increased focus in air quality issues, it is clear that ULEVs are an important way to tackle pollution in urban areas.

However, the furthest date available for proposed investment in ULEVs is until March 2021 when an additional £390 million was committed in the Autumn Statement last year. No specifics were mentioned though as to how this funding was going to be invested, and it is hoped that the existing grants are continued in some shape or form.

Although not linked to government, the SMMT is a powerful body and is effectively the voice for the UK automotive industry. Considering that industry is has more than £70 billion of turnover in the UK, builds 1.7 million cars, 2.5 million engines, registered more than 2.5 million cars in the country last year, and exports to 160 nations, the SMMT has some weight to throw behind its proposed priorities.

To find out more about ULEVs, visit NGC's Plug-in Hybrid or Hydrogen Fuel Cell microsites, or click on the button below to head to the Electric Vehicle section. You can read the full SMMT UK Automotive priorities here.

Visit NGC's electric car microsite here

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:2nd Jun 2017

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