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We need a refreshed approach to deliver diverse decarbonisation

Published to the CV Show website on
20/06/2024

As we hurtle towards the general election on 4 July, all major political parties have published their manifestos and it’s promising that the UK automotive industry features prominently across them – with ambitions to boost our transition to zero emission mobility and manufacturing. It’s so important, therefore, that the challenges and opportunities of heavier commercial vehicles, buses and coaches are given thorough thought.

General elections are fought on national and local issues, and our sector has a role to play on both levels – with the buses and coaches that are vital for getting people to work, the shops, hospital, on holiday, and seeing friends and family; while trucks and vans that are the backbone of the economy, integral to the success of so many businesses in our country.

SMMT’s Manifesto 2030 calls for net zero mobility for everyone, and that must include all passengers and fleet operators – no matter whether a person can drive, whatever their choice of transport, and however many vehicles they operate. As we have set out, attractive incentives and infrastructure that help fleets invest in the very greenest vehicles are critical to keeping a greener, fairer, more prosperous and inclusive Britain on the move.

Commercial vehicle and bus manufacturing too needs policies that create the best possible environment for green investment, and affordable, sustainable energy, strong trading relationships around the world, and healthy new vehicle markets here in the UK will all help make sure more electric and hydrogen vehicles are produced here in the years to come.

And for those vehicles used here – be they truck, bus or van – we need plans in place to support the infrastructure needed to keep them on the move, both at depots, and out on the road.

Delivering the workforce and skills we need for a net zero future is also massively important, from greater STEM education in schools to policies that help businesses invest in new roles, be it apprenticeships, reskilling or career returnships, given many of the specialist skills needed in the commercial vehicle sector.

With a new parliament, we need a renewed and refreshed approach to accelerating decarbonisation – one that reflects the diverse needs of our industry.

 

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