Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has written to every government department giving them detailed guidance on how to transition to ultra-low emission car fleets.
Last year’s Road to Zero strategy set out a commitment to make all central government cars electric by 2030, electrifying at least 25% of the fleet by 2022.
The Government Car Service, which provides a secure car service for government ministers and is managed by the Department for Transport, is on track to meet this target, with EVs making up nearly 23% of its fleet, said the Government.
Grayling has now given every department detailed guidance on how they can drive this transition in their own fleet, asking them to publish a yearly progress report.
He said: “We want the UK to be the best place in the world to own an ultra-low emission vehicle, and as a government we have to lead by example.
“I am pleased with the change we are making to the Government Car Service, but this now needs to be reflected in all fleets that are controlled by government.
“Only yesterday, the Prime Minister made the bold commitment that the UK will end its net contribution to climate change by 2050.
“It is absolutely vital that all parts of government play their part in delivering this ambitious target.”
However, while the news has been welcomed by BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney, he says the government needs to address its grey fleet.
He said: “We welcome the news that Transport Minister Chris Grayling has written to every other department urging them to play their part in delivering the government’s pledge to have a zero-emission car fleet by 2030.
“Unfortunately, this big gesture will have a relatively small impact. To make a real difference, we would like to see the government review its internal policies relating to the use of personal cars for business – known as grey fleet.
“The BVRLA Grey Fleet report published in 2016 estimated that the Civil Service grey fleet mileage was in the region of 265 million miles a year, costing £126m in mileage claims from civil servants doing business using their own vehicles.
“The average grey fleet car is around eight years old and emits 16% more CO2 than an average rental car, which is what Government staff should be using for their journeys in the absence of a practical public transport option.”