Jesse Norman, UK MP and Minister of State, Department for Transport, has addressed the 2022 EV SUMMIT, following the first panel of the day. It was encouraging to hear positive words from him on the future of sustainable transport for a green cleaner future.
This EV SUMMIT sees the world’s most significant gathering of global emobility experts across business and local and national governments come together to deliver on decarbonised transport in the UK and beyond for a more sustainable future.
Norman said: “The incredible growth of cars across the UK and world has returned some quite serious, indeed, dreadful side effects for our planet. The world is not immune to unintended consequences.
“So for all the good they have done, carbon fuelled cars can’t fix the damage caused by carbon fuels themselves. Only new technologies can do that. Technologies that make use of cleaner fuels and help us to learn from cars of yesterday, so we can the streets, the atmosphere and communities of the future.”
Norman went on to say that the government has made the strongest commitment to decarbonising transport, especially with transport being the largest emitter of greenhouse gases across the UK economy today.
Norman said: “We have to make change happen in order to honour that net zero commitment. Part of that starts out with phasing out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
“We recognise the transition to greener cleaner vehicles relies on more than phase outs. This government and its predecessors have already spent £2 billion to support this transition.
“The next part of the strategy relies on lifting those barriers which stall, prevent or inhibit the adoption of zero emissions vehicles. It involves accelerating the availability of the associated infrastructure.
“Now, 2022 has been a year of fantastic strides. In March, we published the landmark strategy to make EV charging cheaper and more convenient than the petrol station.
“If we’re going to deliver one of the best EV infrastructure networks in the world then we have to seize every opportunity we can to make the whole system affordable, reliable, accessible and more secure.
“We have to learn a critical lesson from the age of the motorcar that easy access results in greater uptake and no one should be left behind in process of transition.”
This means that accessibility will need to be embedded into public charge point design from the outset. Work has begun with the introduction of the new 1899 standard published by the British Standards and cosponsored by the government and Motability. Ultimately, the government wants to see charge points that work for everyone whether they’re in a wheelchair, carrying a child or just getting older.
Norman said: “The UK is taking the lead and it’s doing so in a way that we should all be proud. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone across the industry for their involvement in the adoption of these standards.
“Even with the huge amount of progress, there’s still much more work to be done. Next year, we expect to lay regulations in parliament to increase consumer confidence in the public charging network by mandating reliability, minimum payment methods and making data freely available.
“Much of this work is not just about the needs of individuals but society more generally, so that everyone can share in the benefits of cars that are powered by cleaner fuels. What is the result? Communities become better places to work and do business when the air is cleaner and the infrastructure is greener.”
Norman explained that an increase in renewable energy and increasing uptake of EVs will mean we’re less reliant on foreign imports of oil. This will reduce our vulnerability to volatility in global energy prices and put our economy on a sure and long-term footing.
Norman concluded: “All of this and more is the future we’re working towards. Let me end today by thanking you all for you’re doing to make this the most exciting industry in the world.
“Your efforts, your ideas and your expertise will shape the next great revolution in transport. I know we can work together to secure, not just the intended consequences of new technologies, but also all the additional benefits that we know will come with it.
“That may mean building new zero emission vehicles that help us meet our climate change obligations, improving air quality in our towns and cities, supporting new jobs and sustainable new growth, delivering innovations to the last-mile of journeys, and ultimately, making those new technologies part and parcel of our everyday lives.
The EV SUMMIT continues today with a range of panels with global experts from the emobility space discussing the most topical subjects and how to focus on growth, investment and decarbonisation.