Last week’s poll: What’s the best way to encourage adoption of zero-emission vehicles?


On October 24, 2016 the Department for Transport (DfT) unveiled its strategy to encourage the adoption of low-emissions vehicles, including increased access to charging points and hydrogen refuelling stations.

The number of new ultra low emission vehicles registered has risen by 250 per cent in just two years, and secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling has set a goal for all new cars and vans to be zero emissions by 2040.

A number of the 66 readers who commented on the poll (it received 489 votes overall) drew attention to the whole-life environmental costs incurred by low-emissions vehicles, but if we assume ‘zero emissions’ to mean no GHG tailpipe emissions then it becomes clear that 29 per cent of respondents would like to see subsidies for such vehicles.

A quarter of the vote agreed that the best way to zero emissions vehicles is through improved access to charging/hydrogen; and 26 per cent was split equally between the need for stricter vehicle emissions laws and better charging times for EVs.

One fifth of the vote couldn’t find a fit with the options presented, which marks a high point for those choosing the recurring ‘none of the above’ option.

Reaction round-up

Clive Gardner: There are not any zero emission vehicles, the emissions are just relocated to the power station which supplies the electricity.

Nick Cole: It’s a no-brainer, liquid fuels are convenient easy to store, and have a good energy density. Behind every decision to purchase is a question: can I continue to use this vehicle when I have got to my destination and what happened when I need to refuel/charge? A vehicle with a flat battery is no use to anyone. Similarly why did LPG not become more popular? A good refuelling infrastructure is the key.

Gary: I have been fully electric for 2 years (33,000 miles), biggest draw back [is] no bookable charge points and all owned by different suppliers.

Stephen B Whiteley: This pedantic attitude about power supplies negating the benefits of electric vehicles is just nonsense in my view. We need nuclear power and as much hydro as we can get. We need solar plus battery storage. Whilst this is progressing we need to develop and use electric cars. It would be quite wrong to wait until carbon free power is available before starting work on electric cars.

What do you think? Let us know below.