On July 9, 2018, the UK Government published "The Road to Zero," a strategy to implement measures to transition the United Kingdom toward zero-emission road transport. The Secretary of State for Transport has reaffirmed the long-term ambition to put the United Kingdom at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles. The Government expects the transition to be industry and consumer led, supported by Government measures. A progress review will take place by 2025.

The strategy's main ambitions include: investment of £1.5 billion in ultra-low-emission vehicles by 2020; achieving at least 50 percent, and as many as 70 percent, of new car sales and up to 40 percent of new van sales being ultra-low emission by 2030; ending the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040; and for almost every car and van to be zero emission by 2050.

Leading by example, the Government will aim to ensure that 25 percent of its own car fleet will be ultra-low emission by 2022. All new Government car purchases will be ultra-low emission by default, with 100 percent of the Government car fleet being ultra-low emission by 2030.

To facilitate in this transition, updating charging infrastructure is key. Among the measures proposed will be a commitment to ensure that there is a charge point every 20 miles along the UK strategic road network by 2020 and that all new homes, where appropriate, will be required to have a charge point available, while all new street lighting columns will be required to include charging points where appropriately located in residential areas with current on-street parking provisions. What is "appropriate" will be a subject of further consultation.

In addition, the Government will ensure that local planning policies incorporate facilities for charging electric vehicles through the National Planning Policy Framework. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act, which received royal assent on July 19, 2018, makes provision for rolling out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles throughout the United Kingdom. Once regulations are issued under the Act, a core package of vehicle and charge point grants applicable across the United Kingdom are expected to be rolled out.

The proposals are ambitious and will effectively lead to fundamental changes to the United Kingdom, and likely global, automotive markets.

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