The UK’s previous 2030 climate change target was to have reduced 1990’s level of emissions by 53 per cent.
The announcement comes after Johnson laid out a ten point plan last month for the UK to reach its 2050 climate change target.
It includes banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030, providing £582m in grants to aid buyers of low or zero emission vehicles and spending £500m on developing hydrogen technologies to heat homes.
Johnson also announced a £160m plan in October to make the UK the largest producer of offshore wind power.In a statement released tonight, Johnson said: “Today, we are taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions by 2030, faster than any major economy, with our Ten Point Plan helping us on our path to reach it.
“But this is a global effort, which is why the UK is urging world leaders as part of next week’s Climate Ambition Summit to bring forward their own ambitious plans to cut emissions and set net zero targets.”
Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE energy company, said the new target was “among the most ambitious in the world”.
“This kind of bold and decisive policy-making will help unlock the investment needed to deliver on our net zero ambitions, tackle climate change and help spur a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis,” he said.
Responding to the announcement, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said: “Our goal should be to go further and faster, cutting the significant majority of emissions in this decisive decade, which is the right way to lead in creating the climate jobs of the future and keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.”
A new project RECOVAS wants to o create a circular end-of-life supply chain for the electric vehicle industry.
The project, led by EMR, has won grant support from the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.
RECOVAS is a partnership between WMG Based at University of Warwick, EMR, Bentley Motors, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, the Health and Safety Executive, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Autocraft Solutions Group and Connected Energy.
The project will start in January 2021 and will run for three years, by which time the partners expect the circular supply chain to be operating commercially.
Remanufacturing is the process of repairing and re-engineering existing batteries so they could potentially be used in new cars.
Reuse involves giving batteries a second life in stationary storage to help balance the use of the electricity grid during peak use and optimise the use of renewable energy and other applications.
The new supply chain will help all partners to triage batteries when they arrive at approved end-of-life vehicle treatment facilities across the UK for either remanufacturing, reuse or – where this is not possible – recycling.
Professor David Greenwood, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, WMG, University of Warwick, said: “Delivery of end-of-life provision for electric vehicle batteries is a strategic necessity for the UK, and this project will establish its first full scale facility.
“Without proper provision, end of life batteries could become a major safety and environmental concern.
“This project will implement state-of-the art recycling methods to meet and exceed the requirements of the current regulations.
“In addition, we will conduct research into new processes which could make the recovery of a much higher proportion of the battery material economically feasible.
“In doing so we will reduce the need for mining and refining of critical materials and we will reduce the carbon footprint of future electric vehicles.
“WMG is delighted to be at the core of this project, and we look forward to its delivery.”
The government is supporting RECOVAS as part of a £49m investment in technologies that will help the automotive industry to “go green”.
The call by car industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), followed concerns raised by its chief executive Mike Hawes that, while car makers had developed compelling electric cars, the vast majority of the buying public was not purchasing them.
Hawes said: “We are being asked to go from about 15% of the market to 100% being electrified in nine years – that’s a speedy transition. An incentive would accelerate that transition.
“We can see that globally, in other markets, other markets are putting considerable incentives to drive consumer uptake and we must do more. Removing VAT is one idea that we have proposed.”
A 20% discount on a £30,000 car would equate to a £6000 saving – double the maximum £3000 currently available. Electric cars around this price point include the Kia e-Niro, Nissan Leaf and recently launched Volkswagen ID3. France and Germany are among the nations offering the most generous electric car incentives at present, with up to 9000 euro (£8000) off list prices possible.
What Car?’s survey of 7778 visitors to its website also revealed that 20% did not understand what vehicle they could buy from 2030 on, with confusion around the different types of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric technology, The biggest barrier to adoption, cited by 40% of respondents, was a need to expand the charging network. However, 20% did say they were more likely to buy an electric car next following last week’s announcement of a 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.
“We need consumers to accept change is happening,” said Hawes. “As an industry we face pressures to hit CO2 targets, and as a nation we have committed to the same. But we need the consumer to take up the technologies we develop in order to realise the changes that are being sought.”
Ten-point £12bn Green Recovery economic spending plan announced by Boris Johnson.
Slowly but surely humanity is taking the upper hand in the fight against the virus. We have not won yet. There are still hard weeks and months to come. But with better drugs, testing and a range of vaccines, we know in our hearts that next year we will succeed. We will use science to rout the virus, and we must use the same extraordinary powers of invention to repair the economic damage from Covid-19, and to build back better.
Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with high-skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener and more beautiful. Imagine Britain when a Green Industrial Revolution has helped to level up the country.
You cook breakfast using hydrogen power before getting in your electric car, having charged it overnight from batteries made in the Midlands. Around you the air is cleaner; trucks, trains, ships and planes run on hydrogen or synthetic fuel. British towns and regions — Teesside, Port Talbot, Port of Tyne, Merseyside and Mansfield — are now synonymous with green technology and jobs. This is where Britain’s ability to make hydrogen and capture carbon pioneered the decarbonisation of transport, industry and power.
My 10-point plan to get there will mobilise £12bn of government investment, and potentially three times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.
There will be electric vehicle technicians in the Midlands, construction and installation workers in the North East and Wales, specialists in advanced fuels in the North West, agroforestry practitioners in Scotland, and grid system installers everywhere. And we will help people train for these new green jobs through our Lifetime Skills Guarantee. Climate Capital Where climate change meets business, markets and politics.
This 10-point plan will turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology and finance, creating the foundations for decades of economic growth.
Four — we’ll invest more than £2.8bn in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points and creating long-lasting batteries in UK gigafactories. This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030. However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.
Six — we will strive to repeat the feat of Jack Alcock and Teddie Brown, who achieved the first nonstop transatlantic flight a century ago, with a zero emission plane. And we will do the same with ships.
Seven — we will invest £1bn next year to make homes, schools and hospitals greener, and energy bills lower.
Nine — we will harness nature’s ability to absorb carbon by planting 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2025 and rewilding 30,000 football pitches’ worth of countryside.
And ten — our £1bn energy innovation fund will help commercialise new low-carbon technologies, like the world’s first liquid air battery being developed in Trafford, and we will make the City of London the global centre for green finance through our sovereign bond, carbon offset markets and disclosure requirements.
This plan can be a global template for delivering net zero emissions in ways that create jobs and preserve our lifestyles.
On Wednesday I will meet UK businesses to discuss their contribution. We plan to provide clear timetables for the clean energy we will procure, details of the regulations we will change, and the carbon prices that we will put on emissions. I will establish a “task force net zero” committed to reaching net zero by 2050, and through next year’s COP26 summit we will urge countries and companies around the world to join us in delivering net zero globally. Green and growth can go hand-in-hand. So let us meet the most enduring threat to our planet with one of the most innovative and ambitious programmes of job-creation we have known.
The original deadline for the ban on new petrol and diesel sales was 2040 but in February this year, Boris Johnson announced at the UN climate conference (COP26) that the government will bring this forward to 2035 or earlier if feasible, subject to consultation.
Now another five years has been taken off the original deadline, but the 2035 date is reportedly being kept for the end of hybrid car sales.
Infrastructure and cost analysis
RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said while extremely ambitious, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise as “there’s an urgent need to reduce the emissions generated from vehicle use”.
Lyes said: “The car industry clearly now faces a monumental challenge to change its production lines, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure will need to be expanded at an incredible pace to cope with the surge in electric vehicles (‘EVs’) coming on to our roads.
“We believe many more rapid charging devices are needed in order to give drivers the confidence that they can make longer journeys in a convenient and time efficient manner. While many people, especially those with off-street parking, will charge their vehicles overnight at home, this won’t be possible for everyone so access to a reliable national charging network is vital to make the process of recharging simple and convenient.”
He added that the upfront cost of electric vehicles is currently “far too high for most people to afford” when comparing them to an equivalent-sized conventional vehicle, so prices “will have to come down dramatically in order to make them a realistic option for more people and spark take-up quickly”.
“Unfortunately, at the moment EVs are something of a rarity on the used car market which is something that needs to change as around eight million people a year buy second-hand cars, many more than buy brand-new vehicles. For now, the government should focus on how it can better incentivise consumers to go electric.
“The government also now needs to work out how it’s going to plug the inevitable hole in fuel duty revenue that the switch to EVs will create. Currently, it collects around £28bn a year from fuel duty so the treasury will need to quickly devise a new system that is fair for all drivers,” he said.
What effect will electrifying the car fleet have on the power industry? How often will cars be recharged, what additional load will this place on the grid, and where might the need for charging expose capacity restrictions on the network? Dr Laurence Chittock, Transport Modeller at PTV Group, considers the issues
In 2019 the UK government declared a climate emergency and committed to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. With transport accounting for more emissions than any other UK sector, the government’s Road to Zero strategy provides a pathway for the phasing out of combustion engines and a transition to electrified mobility. This is underpinned by a legislated ban on new petrol and diesel cars, previously set at 2040 but brought forward to 2030 in a recent announcement.
Such a ban will create a major challenge for the auto industry, with massive changes required to build enough batteries and shift manufacturing and supply chains. But what effect will electrifying the car fleet have on the power industry?
A single EV can double a household’s electricity demand, so if uptake is initially clustered in certain neighbourhoods, then smart planning is required to mitigate the impacts on the local electricity network. And what level of public charging is required? For those that can’t charge at home their reliance on a public network is critical, so where might they charge and how often?
Balancing supply and demand
These sorts of questions raise issues for investors, public bodies, transport planners, and electricity network planners alike. If infrastructure rollout isn’t planned with both demand and supply in mind, we risk creating an imbalance.
This might create inequalities in who can and can’t drive EVs, for instance between those who have a driveway and those who don’t. By integrating transport models with electricity network models, we can explore these challenges and questions.
Transport models are used widely across the planning industry to support important policy and investment decisions, including for public transport upgrades, road and junction modifications, cycling infrastructure, and pedestrian access.
Inherent in these models is an understanding and representation of the movement of people and vehicles, based on what we know about where people live, and where and how they might choose to travel. This information is vital to understanding future charging infrastructure requirements.
Car distances and patterns are a key requisite for EV energy calculations and the detailed spatial and temporal data in a transport model can help us understand where infrastructure might be needed, and who is likely to be reliant on it.
A set of plausible scenarios have been developed for the project and are centred on two critical uncertainties: EV uptake and public charging provision. The four scenarios explore these uncertainties, helping to understand what might happen if strong EV uptake does or doesn’t materialise, and if widespread public infrastructure is or isn’t installed ahead of need
Pace of change
Although electric vehicle sales are growing, the pace of this change is far from certain and will be influenced by a range of factors, including automotive capacity and costs, consumer choice, political factors such as Brexit, and underlying economic conditions.
With so much uncertainty, scenario planning is crucial to determine what sorts of futures might play out or to help guide progression to a desired future. Such scenarios can then be tested in a model to highlight potential impacts, understand where and how infrastructure can be planned, and enable decisions to be made with the least regret.
These issues and more are being explored in an ongoing project called Charge, involving a consortium of companies led by SP Energy Networks; with EA Technology, Smarter Grid Solutions and transport modelling software company PTV Group. The project aims to facilitate the provision of public infrastructure ahead of time by marrying transport demand patterns from a set of scenario-based models and local electricity network capacity.
A series of plausible scenarios have been developed for the project and represent the collective view from a range of experts across the transport and energy industries. In each one, factors were collectively assessed to anticipate EV uptake, future vehicle range, battery efficiency, and infrastructure options. These scenarios are currently being tested in a transport model covering the Manweb region, providing a tool to understand the potential needs of future electric vehicles.
Level of infrastructure required
The vision-based scenario ‘On Course for Net Zero’ allows us to explore the level of infrastructure required to reach staged carbon reduction targets from 2025 onwards. The ‘Driveway to Electrification’ scenario suggests the requirement for public infrastructure given most people can charge at home.
Conversely, if we wish to avoid this future, we can see what level of infrastructure is needed to support those without a driveway. The detail in these models can thus help both investors, who wish to maximise their utilisation, and local authorities, who want to understand how to support a rapid, yet equitable transition.
Given EVs will significantly increase our demand for electricity, understanding what this will mean for the electricity network is vital for the operators. If they understand where additional demand may manifest, they can see if their existing capacity and supply is sufficient.
In areas where capacity is lacking, they need to identify the business case for investing in network upgrades ahead of time. By understanding future requirements for charging infrastructure today, the electricity network can be planned to facilitate EV usage in the coming years. By understanding the uncertainty the future holds, these decisions can also be made with future-proofing in mind.
The results from this study will be made available on a free-to-use online tool called ConnectMore, due to be released next year. Key insights about charging demand from the transport model and scenarios can be explored alongside detailed data on electricity network capacity. Combined, this will show where connections to the grid can be made at the lowest cost, guiding investment and planning decisions, and helping speed up the necessary transition to a decarbonised future.
This image shows an early development view of the ConnectMore tool with substation capacity overlayed with zonal EV charging demand. Future versions will show capacity data down to feeder level and charging demand broken down by location type, dwell time metrics, and energy demand