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Opinion: The road to zero emissions

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For electric and hybrid vehicles, 2018 will be another year of wider choice - in terms of manufacturers, bodystyles and different vehicle segments; reducing costs for the technology and longer ranged vehicles.

We expect to see close to 200 EV and ULEV models available in the UK market next year, with the most advanced plug-ins able to travel over 200 miles on a single charge.

I don’t think anyone is in any doubt that we are heading for an ultra-low or zero-emission future.

We’re eagerly awaiting early next year the Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy which will provide more details on how we will achieve the 2040 date (or 2032 in Scotland) signalled last summer for an end to sales of internal combustion engine vehicles.

London is clearly leading the charge – excuse the pun - for the whole of the UK in that respect, with an air-quality charge already in place and a firm agenda to completely decarbonise its entire transport system by 2050.

If that sounds a long way off, don't forget that in a little over a year (April 2019), companies will have to pay nearly £25 more per day to deploy a pre-Euro 6 diesel in central London than an EV.

But there is also significant work taking place in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton to prepare for their Clean Air Zones (CAZs) in 2019.

Business users and company car drivers have played and will continue to play a vital role in the take-up of hybrids and battery electric vehicles.

A large part of our role will again be helping businesses and their employees really understand the benefits of ULEVs and the practical steps needed to adopt them.

Whether that is using our EPA (electrification potential analysis) tool to identify those users and journeys which could/should be electric or hybrid; updating or adapting vehicle policies; understanding the different types of vehicles now available out there in the market, or mastering the practicalities of home charging, workplace charging and charging on the move with our partnership with Chargemaster.

By David Bushnell, product manager – mobility, Alphabet

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