The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership won praise this week from transport minister Andrew Jones for its work to further the cause of green motoring.
Addressing the annual conference of the the LowCV Partnership, a public-private sector organisation in London, the minister said it was a “fantastic achievement” that the fastest car model growth is in the ultra low carbon sector.
“So far this year sales of cars eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant have grown more than threefold, while pure-electric car sales have almost doubled.”
Mr Jones continued: “Thousands of people – and many fleets – are discovering that owning an ultra-low emission vehicle no longer requires fundamental compromise. Whether it’s on convenience, driving experience, or affordability.”
Referring to the FormulaE motor racing organisation, which has made its home at Donnington Park, he said: “We have a great opportunity here – not just to make the UK one of the world’s leading market for green vehicles – but also one of the world’s leading producers too.
“That’s why, in partnership with industry, we created the Advanced Propulsion Centre. And it is why we’re investing £500 million to support ultra-low emission vehicles.”
Along with other initiatives, this will all help achieve the “fundamental goals of reducing carbon emissions, while keeping the population mobile, and building a flourishing low carbon economy in the UK,” the minister claimed.
He then turned to the topic of air pollution arguing that this is the topic which the public recognises.
“All too often the local and global aspects of transport emissions are divorced, when in fact they are closely related. Ultra low emission vehicles not only help tackle climate change. They make our air cleaner too, cutting levels of particulates and other pollutants.”
Mr Jones confirmed that the UK is still failing to meet EU limits for nitrogen oxides and said he wanted the industry to stress the local air quality benefits of ultra low emission motoring.
“Of course we have to take into consideration the emissions produced by generating the electricity for electric vehicles. But still, ultra low emission vehicles have a very positive environmental story to tell.”
However, the minister failed to give any indication of how the UK was planning to respond to the European Court’s requirement for the delivery of a plan to meet air quality targets.