There are a lot of areas of UK government policy that are currently in flux as a result of both Brexit and Covid. However, one area that is entirely predictable (even if the details may change)  is the push towards decarbonising our road transport system. 

We know for sure that internal combustion engine-powered vehicles (ICE) and hybrids will be banned from sale no later than 2035 and we know that there is a big push towards encouraging the take up of electric vehicles (EV).

So this blog is about how we accelerate the take up of EVs and how CleanCar can help.

Why do we need to switch?

This is something you already know, but we are facing a major climate challenge. The UK Government has legally committed us to achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. This is no small task and the work has to begin right away. As the road transport sector accounts for around 25% of UK carbon emissions, it is a priority sector. In addition to burning fossil fuels, vehicles create both air pollution and congestion, particularly in urban areas. 

The UK starts from a low EV baseline. Only around 2% of all UK vehicles are EVs and, even with a significant uptick in recent sales, still only account for around 5% of new vehicle registrations.  

If we are to hit our targets for the decarbonisation of road transport, we need to dramatically accelerate the take up of EVs and remove ICEs from our roads asap. 

Incentives to switch

The government has already started to roll out quite significant incentives to switch from ICEs to EVs. Most notably, in April 2020 a raft of tax related changes were brought in, which made huge changes to National Insurance and Benefit in Kind treatment of EVs. For more on this see our tax blog [link].

There are also a range of other incentives planned, around free parking, use of bus lanes, better charging infrastructure and ‘blue number plates’ (for what that is worth). These will all help, but we will probably need even more of a market push if we are to make the 2020s a real decade of change. 

Recent sales numbers 

The most recent sales figures from the SMMT do show some very positive trend lines for EVs. 8,900 new fully electric or battery EVs (BEV) were registered in June 2020, up from 2,461 in June 2019 (an increase of 262%). They  were up year on year from 12,000 to 31,000 (an increase of 160%). However, this still only brings the market share for new BEV registrations up to around 5%, with petrol vehicles still accounting for 60% of all new vehicle registrations (albeit down from 65% in 2019).  Thus, we can see that the market trend is strongly towards BEVs but we have a very long way to go to fully transition the UK vehicle market to BEVs.

How the new CleanCar system and app can help

We have been very busy at CleanCar recently. We spent 2019 building a new and improved system, together with a snazzy new website and an app….then Covid intervened and we had to work our way around that. However, we have used the lockdown period to refine our offering and we are now about ready to launch the next phase of our growth plan. 

In essence, CleanCar is a smart ICE-EV switching tool. It helps vehicle users understand whether they are suitable for an EV and, if so, which one might be best and how much money it could save them. We do this via an intuitive tailored reporting system that works from data about how you actually use your vehicle (as opposed to a standardised guesstimate, which other systems use).

The tool works by tracking your vehicle journeys for a couple of weeks and then extrapolating patterns of use to identify suitability and cost savings. The data can be collected either via the app, or via a dongle plugged into the 12v charger. 

The tool is designed to help a wide range of vehicle operators, from fleets to delivery drivers, private vehicle users, local authorities and taxis. It’s simple user interface is refreshingly jargon-free and just delivers unbiased hard data about which EV might suit you best. 

We are also looking to use some of our datasets (suitably anonymised and protected) to help local authorities, energy companies and transport hubs plan for e-mobility infrastructure investments. 

So, if you or your organisation is looking for a way to increase the uptake of EVs, then we would love to talk to you

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