Committee on Climate Change (CCC) chair Lord Deben has this week urged the government to be more ambitious on electric vehicles as a matter of urgency and, crucially, bring forward the proposed phase-out of conventional vehicle by five years.

However his words may have fallen on deaf ears with the Department for Transport having yesterday announced reforms to the Plug-in Car Grant (PIGC), either limiting or removing financial support altogether.

In a letter addressed to the energy and transport secretaries Greg Clark and Chris Grayling, Lord Deben included a specific assessment of the ‘Road to Zero’ transport plan after it was published following the CCC’s annual progress report to parliament.

MINI_Countryman_PHEV_on charge_Image_JoPegram-Mills
The letter offers a fairly damning assessment of the plan. Lord Deben says that while its publication and several initiatives include within it were welcome, there remains a “large gap” to the most cost-effective path for reducing transport emissions.

“I would urge you to implement policies with greater ambition to reduce emissions even further,” Lord Deben writes.

Citing the committee’s assessment, Lord Deben – who opens next week’s Current± Theatre at Solar & Storage Live – has set out six specific requests for both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Transport to consider.

Central among those is the call for the commitment to end sales of conventional vehicles to be brought forward five years from the current target of 2040 to 2035.

While generally applauded when first announced, the 2040 target has since come to be considered as lacking in ambition when compared against other nations. Scotland, for example, has set its own target date of 2032.

Read more: Current News