DfT must do more to encourage ULEV uptake

DfT must do more to incentivise the use of Ultra Low Emission (ULEV) vehicles, according to a House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report published this week.

The report, which raises concerns that DfT is failing to meet its target to develop the UK’s ULEV market, recommends a number of measures DfT needs to take to encourage the take up of ULEVs in the commercial sector.

These include incentivising manufacturers to make ULEV light vans by changing the license to allow the additional weight of a battery or hydrogen tank; supporting ULEV fleet procurement by underwriting risk or by guaranteeing buy-back; helping workplaces invest in charging points; and working with Treasury to introduce changes to company car tax and vehicle excise duty, which will incentivise ULEV market development.

The report said: “DfT has yet to articulate how it will develop the ULEV market in the medium term.

“With the department’s central scenario forecasting a market share for ULEVs of 5% by 2020, we have no confidence that the UK will achieve 60% market share by 2030.

“This issue, important before the EU referendum, has been given added urgency in light of the result. Investors crave stability and certainty, and one way the department can provide this is through policies that signal to industry its intention to incentivise ULEV uptake.”

The report also turns its spotlight on the Volkswagen emissions scandal. It calls on the government to ensure Volkswagen speeds up its recall programme to replace cheat devices and to look at taking legal action against the manufacturer.

The report said: “We recommend that the Competition and Markets Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the transport secretary expedite their investigations into the carmaker to determine whether legal action can be taken against it.”

Pointing to the absence of any specific recommendations for HGVs in the report, RHA national policy director Jack Semple said: “The main point is that Euro-6 engines are already delivering on vehicle emissions.”