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Under the terms of the Climate Change Act (2008), the UK has a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Electric and hybrid fuel cars are a key part of the government’s strategy to reduce transport emissions by the same figure. The EV market is being developed and encouraged through a variety of incentives in order that EV cars can make a major impact on emissions after 2020. The latest forecast by the Committee on Climate Change has recommended that the UK reaches 1.7 million EVs by 2020. The Coalition Agreement of 2010 committed to "mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles".
If you are considering buying a plug-in vehicle, there has never been a better time.
Electric vehicles are central to EU plans to move towards a decarbonised transport system and to hit the 2050 emissions target. Since 2009 there has been regulation in the EU limiting the average emissions for new cars, and providing a financial incentive for manufacturers to develop EV models. Emissions targets were phased in from 2012, with manufacturers facing fines for non-compliance. All-electric EVs will be considered ‘zero-emission’ because only exhaust carbon (‘tailpipe’) emissions are counted – emissions from associated electricity generation are not included.
If take-up proceeds as planned it is expected that electricity consumption by electric vehicles will increase from 0.03% in 2014 to 9.5% in 2050. Consideration is being given to meeting this new demand and finding ways to minimize the impact on fossil fuel generation, such as promoting ‘Off-peak charging’.
Huge challenges await on the road to 2050, but it will certainly be an interesting and exciting journey.
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