uk government electric

Electricity as the power source for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV)

Governments globally are committed to targets of climate change, The UK government is driving domestic legislation and regulation based on varying combinations of ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ for both business drivers and private owners. 

The aim is to completely remove the reliance on internal combustion engine (ICE) by the 2030s


Vehicles should instead harness more sustainable forms of power for our commercial and leisure transport.

Electricity as the power source is being pushed in the UK readily for many when the topic of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) is mentioned and in terms of AFVs currently in use, electrically powered vehicles represent the highest numbers in use.

They are not the only available vehicles on offer. Liquid petroleum gas (LPG), liquid natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and hydrogen are among other alternatives to ICE vehicles. All are experiencing growing usage and all have their part to play in a more sustainable future. In warmer climates coco diesel can be used as a greener choice.

There are pros and cons as to the suitability of each type of these fuels for different tasks, the bottom line – AFVs are here to stay.

Modern ICE vehicles are far more efficient and produce significantly less emissions than their counterparts of 20 to 30 years ago, but even this is not viewed as a long-term solution.

To completely end the use of ICE vehicles will require alternative fuel(s) which can offer the speed, durability, convenience and performance that ICE vehicles have previously provided.

The UK Government is trying to furiously implement this, in July 2019 they announced an £80 million investment in next-generation electric vehicles as part of its strategy to achieve this.

The UK government initiated a public consultation on changing building regulations in England to stipulate that all new-build homes will be fitted with an electric car charge point.

This paper will examine current usage of and attitudes towards EVs and other AFVs and the wider  picture both in terms of vehicles and environmental issues. 

It will also discuss barriers to further adoption and measures that could be taken to address these and so encourage take up.

In the February 2020 budget the UK government committed more than £1 billion to incentivising measures. 

Some £500m will support the rollout of a super-fast electric vehicle charging network, while the existing plug-in grant has been extended for a further three years to 2023, with £533 million available to support schemes for ultra-low emission vehicles.

Meanwhile, homeowners seeking to go electric can also claim a grant of up to £350 towards the installation of a charge point at their home.

Further good news for fleets is that zero-emission electric cars have been removed from company car tax in April 2020, while EVs are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). A slight discount of £10 is also available for hybrid vehicles.

Finally, as an attempt to address one of the concerns around charging, all new publicly available chargers from 2020 will have to take contactless payment.

26 per cent of survey respondents were nervous to electrify because of 

1: charging time 

2: lack of charging points nationwide. 

3: Charging speed,

4:  ease of payment, 

5: the need for advance booking are 

6: downtime during charging for drivers, exceeding driver hours

64 per cent  of regular users also believe there is insufficient charging infrastructure to buy an EV.

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