The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has published their latest update on the implementation of Road to Zero.

This is a summary of the main measures aimed at driving demand for ‘the cleanest cars’ and ensure that all new cars and vans sold are effectively zero emissions by 2040.

Plug-in Grant Vehicle Application Guidance

In December, OLEV updated their plug-in vehicle grant guidance, which can now be found online here. They are expecting a lot of new applications for vehicles to become eligible for the plug-in car grant in 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Communications@OLEV.gsi.gov.uk.

To date, the plug-in vehicle grants have supported the purchase of over 170,000 vehicles. More information on the vehicle grant schemes can be found here

Last Mile Delivery

Last year, the Government published a call for evidence on last mile deliveries, which asked questions about barriers to the uptake of ultra-low emission vans and trucks. The responses are currently being examined and the Government’s response is expected shortly.

Van Licence Derogation

Last summer, the Government introduced legislation that allowed Category B driving licence holders to drive electric vans that weigh up to 4.25 tonnes (an increase from 3.5 tonnes). Drivers who wish to take advantage of this weight increase need to complete a minimum of 5 hours training. The Government is now working with LGV training registers to develop a system of certification that will allow drivers to prove that they have completed the training.

In 2018, a number of amendments were made to the EU Driver CPC Directive. These will introduce a similar weight allowance into European law. The transposition deadline for the revised Directive is May 2020. The Government is currently considering how the UK’s legislation will be affected by the revisions to the Directive.

“We appreciate industry are very keen to take advantage of the new legislation, and we are working to publish this guidance as quickly as possible”, OLEV says.

Ultra Low Emission Trucks

OLEV is planning to develop a standard for ultra-low emission trucks. They are working with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership on this and aim to publish the new standard in 2020. A series of engagement sessions for industry and other stakeholders will be held in 2019.

Go Ultra Low

The Go Ultra Low public communications campaign to promote ultra-low emission vehicles launched on 1 February. A Ministerial launch event with members and stakeholders is planned for 12 March.

Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)

WLTP has replaced the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) as the standard test used to measure fuel consumption, electric range and vehicle emissions for cars and light vans.

From 1 September 2019, WLTP standards will be adopted for the plug-in car grant, plug-in taxi grant and for light vans (<3.5 tonnes) eligible for the plug-in van grant. To be eligible for these grant schemes from this date, vehicles will need to meet the minimum standards for vehicle emissions (<50gCO2/km) and zero emission range (70+ miles) under WLTP standards. However, all vehicles will remain eligible for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. The WLTP city cycle will be used to calculate the range of eligible taxis, given their extensive operation in urban areas

From 1 January 2019 official consumer information on new car fuel economy is based on WLTP. This change helps consumers by giving them the information they need to buy the vehicle that best suits them.

Cars and Vans CO2 Regulations

Negotiations on post-2020 CO2 Regulations between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission concluded in December.

The new Regulations will require CO2 reductions of 15% by 2025 for both new cars and vans, against a 2021 WLTP baseline, and reductions of 31% for vans and 37.5% for cars by 2030.