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As diesel sales fall, ULEVs fill the gap…

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According to new analysis by Pixie Energy, sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs) have soared in the last six months.

The market share of EVs almost doubled from April to September 2019, from 6.4% to 11.9%, including Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs), Hybrid EVs (HEVs), and Petrol and Diesel Mild-Hybrid EVs (MHEVs).

In the same period, petrol car sales remained pretty much stable, while diesel sales fell from 28.9% to 22.6%.

Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs) are a key objective of the government’s Road to Zero 2018 strategy and incentives have started to be introduced with the aim of increasing uptake and achieving cost-parity with petrol and diesel vehicles.

ULEVs can be electric or hybrid, as long as they emit less than 50g of CO2 per kilometre.

Why are diesel vehicles in decline?

For many years, drivers were encouraged to drive diesel vehicles.  In 2001, the Labour government brought in a sliding scale for car tax intended to protect the environment by increasing the cost of cars with higher CO2 emissions.   However, this resulted in lower taxes for fuel efficient diesel cars, even though they emitted greater quantities of nitrogen oxide and particulates, known to be harmful to human health.

The reputation of diesel vehicles was further harmed by ‘Dieselgate’ in 2015, when it was discovered that Volkswagen has been rigging its diesel vehicles to pass emissions tests when the rest of the time, they emitted up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide.   Worldwide, 11 million cars were involved in the scandal from 2009 to 2015.

The UK aims to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 (2032 in Scotland).

What is being done to incentivise ULEVs?

Grants are available to those purchasing new ULEVs.  According to gov.uk you can get a plug-in grant of up to £3,500 for a car and up to £8,000 for a van as well as up to £500 to install an electric car charger at home.

Mandatory EV charging points could be introduced for new builds with a parking space and the government is also consulting on whether a green number plate will encourage more people to take up EVs.

EVs currently cost more to purchase but less to run than traditional petrol and diesel vehicles, however it is thought that by the early 2020s the purchase price of EVs will be more competitive.

By 2030, 50%-70% of new car sales and 40% of new van sales will be ULEVs, with a full ban on sales by 2040.  However, the transport secretary Grant Shapps announced recently that the government would review the 2040 target with a view to bringing it forward to 2035. 

Be part of the ULEV revolution

We are working towards the goal of 100% ULEVs on the road by 2050, but there is a lot of work to be done.

If you’re interested in getting involved in this new area of work, we can offer you the training you need.  Please click here for details of our EV course.

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