UK To Target 100% EV’s by 2030, a Decade Earlier Than Planned

It was only in February this year, that British Prime minister Boris Johnson had announced plans to bring forward the date to ban petrol and diesel cars from the UK to 2035. From the earlier target date of 2040. Now, multiple reports say that the new date will be 2030, likely to be announced as early as next week. With this, it becomes clearer that irrespective of political leanings, the shift to greener economies has acquired irissistible momentum in the developed world. And China off course.

Those shifting goalposts will send a shiver of worry across Indian auto manufacturers, who seemed to have won a temporary reprieve when Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had spoken about a plan to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles in India by 2030. At that time, a key argument against the ‘impossible’ target was the argument that even developed economies like the UK and France had a target of only 2040 to meet those numbers. That had led to the target being scaled down to 30 percent by 2030. A figure that looks way too conservative now.

China has a target of 25 percent by 2025, and 40 percent by 2030. The share of EV’s in India’s total auto market is currently under 3 percent, but the figure is growing fast, especially among two wheelers.

Clearly, what was impossible in 2017, seems to be a lot more closer in 2020 to policy makers in the UK.

On the anvil are also plans to make firms declare their risks from climate change by 2025, in their financial reportings. That would be a first for any major economy.

The UK, which, like large parts of he developed world, has indicated a target to be net zero on carbon emissions by 2050, is clearly not the only country which sees a wholehearted shift to cleantech as not just a necessity, but also good for business. Firms worldwide, pushed by their governments, are adapting to focus harder on this new area and the opportunities it offers. For the record, in 2019, electric vehicles were less than 25 percent of the UK auto market.

For the solar sector, this new urgency, backed by improvements in storage technology thanks to massive investments and larger addressable markets, means a clear pathway to growth for the next decade . In India, we have already heard from government think tank Niti Ayog last week, on a desire to plan for the next wave of EV charging stations that will be powered with renewable energy.

We have consistently argued for firms and industries to look at a speed of change that, if not disruptive, is at least more challenging than the ‘orderly’ change they seem to want, with targets set for 2030, 2035 and beyond for their own net zero ambitions. Its the same story in highly polluting sectors like food processing, that need to move on from single use plastics and worse, sooner.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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