As we know, the internal combustion engine (ICE) is a major emitter of carbon dioxide, and efforts to reduce emissions from road traffic is essential.

But I was heartened recently by the thinking and collaboration I witnessed at a recent event connecting a range of stakeholders: Innovation in Transport Technology Hub. With its approach of connecting diverse but like-minded voices, in areas such as policymaking, finance, infrastructure and beyond, I came away from the conference having learned five vital lessons:

Collaboration is the special sauce

The need for collaboration between all stakeholders is vital in supporting the transport industry in ultimately reaching net zero. The sale of new petrol and diesel cars and light commercial vehicles will end in 2030, but our aspirations for cleaner transport can’t be achieved by this policy alone. We will require a joined-up approach from government, manufacturers, operators and funders and continued discussions are vital to ensure the needs of all are met. The Hub was an excellent forum for all stakeholders. 

Businesses need to believe in EV charging infrastructure

Infrastructure concerns remain a key obstacle in transition plans. Operators continue to report a lack of confidence in robust infrastructure to support refuelling requirements of non-ICE vehicles. However, figures from Zapmap suggest that there are now more than 40,000 charge points in the UK, having risen from just over 10,000 points in 2018. The confidence will come.

The number of public charge points in the UK is increasing

Hydrogen also offers potential, not just electric

Hydrogen development is progressing, and as heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) should be zero emission by 2040, this is welcome news. At ITT Hub HVS launched its 40-tonne HGV technology demonstrator HVS Unveils UK’s First Zero Emission Hydrogen-Electric HGV  With Class-Leading 370 Mile Range - ITT Hub. As the years progress, I hope to see similar launches, with on-sale options in the next 10 years.

Government support is key in meeting national net zero aspirations

Logistics UK launched its EV report (Lack of government fiscal support hampering EV uptake), advising that accelerated government fiscal support is required for progress toward net zero 2050 aspirations. This includes as a key requirement the support to upgrade energy supplies to depots, assistance with increased capital cost of EV assets and publicly accessible infrastructure. 

Finally… funders can rely on their partners

As an industry, asset finance providers need to understand customer needs and partner with them to help the delivery of net zero in the coming years.

As my colleague Jon Hanson, Climate Lead, said in one of the panel discussions at ITT Hub: “Businesses need to invest to decarbonise their operations generally and this remains true of vehicles too. This increasingly requires a more holistic approach than simply the vehicles alone."

“A successful transition needs to consider the vehicles’ usage patterns, charging needs and the driver education of EV to name a few areas. It’s important that businesses can access the right information, support and funding solutions to facilitate their transition. Lombard has a range of tools and funding solutions to support businesses on their vehicle transition.” 

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