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Transport Decarbonisation Plan: Government to legislate for home smart charging

The government is to lay legislation to ensure that private chargepoints meet smart charging standards. Image: Getty

The government is to lay legislation to ensure that private chargepoints meet smart charging standards. Image: Getty

The long-awaited Transport Decarbonisation Plan is to be published today (14 July), with key focuses being smart charging and phasing out the sale of petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

The plan- which was initially expected to be published in autumn 2020 – is designed to provide what the Department for Transport (DfT) described as a world-leading greenprint to cut emissions from the transport sector, setting out a credible path for reaching net zero by 2050.

As part of this, the government has committed to laying out legislation later this year to ensure that private electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints meet smart charging standards following its 2019 EV smart charging consultation.

Smart charging has been on the government's agenda since as far back as 2017, when it published the first draft of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act, which came into law in 2018. The Act stipulates that all private chargers sold or installed must be capable of smart charging.

Smart charging will help mitigate the impact of the increase in demand on the electricity system, with the new legislation to play an important role in driving the uptake of smart technology, the DfT said, with this in turn to help save consumers money on their energy bills.

Alongside this, it is to consult on phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel HGVs by 2040, with a 2035 date for vehicles weighing between 3.5 to 26 tonnes.

This follows the government bringing forward the phase out date of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030 - with new hybrids still allowed to be sold until 2035 - as part of the Ten Point Plan, released last November.

The government is also bringing forward the target date for the whole central government fleet of 40,000 cars and vans to be zero emission to 2027, 3 years earlier than previously planned.

Other measures outlined in the plan include measures to improve public transport and increase support for active travel, creating a net zero rail network by 2050 and ensuring net zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040.

It comes as government also publishes a green paper setting out the regulatory framework requiring vehicle manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars, vans and HGVs.

This is alongside a 2035 delivery plan, which is also set to be published today. It is to bring together all of the measures for decarbonising cars and vans from across government into a single document, outlining the key timelines, milestones and how progress towards the commitment to deliver mass ownership of zero emission cars and vans will be monitored.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "The Transport Decarbonisation Plan is just the start – we will need continued efforts and collaboration to deliver its ambitious commitments, which will ultimately create sustainable economic growth through healthier communities as we build back greener."

The full Transport Decarbonisation Plan – set to include greater detail on the new measures and the pathway to net zero transport – is to be published later today.

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