Increased data sharing between operators of an expanded range of smarter, faster chargers are key planks in decarbonising UK transport, according to the Department of Transport’s latest thinking.
A DfT discussion paper highlights that, as power generation has decarbonised, transport is left as Britain’s single biggest emitting sector, contributing 28 per cent of domestic emissions in 2018. GHG emissions across all travel modes are 4 per cent higher than 2013, says the paper, and only 3 per cent below 1990.
With the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reporting that EVs and hybrids make up nearly 15 per cent of new vehicle registrations in February 2020, the DfT says more interworking is needed between charging infrastructure developers and installers of Britain’s 25,000 public charge points.
While companies such as ZapMap are making use of chargepoint data to enable a smoother transition for EV drivers, the department wants to open up data to everybody, “so that software developers can develop the tools drivers need to easily locate and access available chargepoints”, per the report.
“Government has powers in the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 to facilitate this and is prepared to intervene to ensure a good deal for consumers if the market is too slow to deliver improvements across the entire network,” it warns.
Existing laws permit data sharing between innovators in chargepoint management, the document points out. The £400 million Charging Infrastructure Fund¸ announced in 2017, continues to be an over-arching catalyst.
Meanwhile, the government will publish its vision for a core network of rapid and high powered chargepoints along England’s key network roads within the next couple of months, according to the report.
Bus operators: Go green to get grants?
Within public transport, the document hints that shares of the UK’s £250 million grant to bus operators may soon depend on their adoption of electric and other zero emissions vehicles.
“The distribution of this grant will be reviewed to ensure it supports the environment, as well as improving passenger journeys,” it states.
Last September Whitehall tabled £220 million for measures including a competition for Britain’s first all-electric bus town.
A national bus strategy, supported by long-term funding, is also set for publication later this year.
The ministry promises a more detailed Transport Decarbonisation Plan for the autumn.
More details here.