World’s first zero-emission vehicle summit to be held in the UK

World’s first zero-emission vehicle summit to be held in September
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling © British Embassy Tokyo

The world’s first zero-emission vehicle summit will be held in Birmingham, UK, in September, where public and private stakeholders will discuss innovative future transport technologies.

The event will gather world leaders, industry experts, agencies, academic and financial institutions to discuss how to support the development of ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles. As the world’s first zero-emission vehicle summit, the event could catalyse significant technological progress, helping to reduce atmospheric pollution and ultimately achieve Europe’s ambitious climate change targets.

The UK government has already expressed its commitment to pursuing zero-emission vehicles as a means of decarbonising transport, and has announced plans to prohibit the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, meaning that all new vehicles will need be almost free of emissions by that date.

Further, it has announced an overall package of £1.5bn (~€1.7bn) to be spent on ultra-low emission vehicles before 2021, and additional support for the development of electric bicycles as an alternative mode of transport for short journeys.

What have government stakeholders said?

Business secretary Greg Clark said that Birmingham’s legacy of innovation and skilled workforce made it an ideal place for the UK to develop world-leading zero-emission vehicle innovations. He explained: “The Midlands has a rich automotive heritage and the growth of high-tech manufacturing across the region continues to drive investment, produce highly skilled jobs and boost economic growth – making it an ideal place to lead the world in zero emission vehicles.”

Transport secretary Chris Grayling emphasised the government’s responsibility to reduce atmospheric pollution and improve air quality, and championed the role of electric, hydrogen and other low-emission vehicles in helping to achieve this.

He stated: “The government is committed to meeting our climate change targets and cleaning up our air and to help achieve that we are investing £1.5bn in ultra-low emission vehicles by 2021. This ground-breaking event shows Britain leading the way in developing the new technology that will create new jobs and help improve the air we breathe.”

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