Covid-19 has given the UK the opportunity to rethink and accelerate the switch to greener vehicles, secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps MP told delegates at yesterday’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (Low CVP) virtual annual conference.

“We stand on the very verge of a new revolution; a green transport revolution,” he said. “We can reframe the narrative around green vehicles and show that it is this generation that will drive the transition to zero-carbon road transport.”

The minister’s ambition is backed up by a survey of expert stakeholders – carried out by LowCVP for the event – which showed that the vast majority (92%) of respondents agree that now is the moment for a ‘reset’ in terms of decarbonising road transport.

Nearly 85% of respondents said that the disruption caused by the pandemic had opened the door to the public accepting more radical and effective policy prescriptions for ‘greening’ road transport.

Speaking after the minister’s statement, LowCVP’s MD Andy Eastlake welcomed the heightened ambition towards road transport decarbonisation: “Our target must no longer be to achieve ‘low carbon’ road transport but to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from every stage of the whole transport system.

“That’s why, I’m announcing today that our partnership of over 200 organisations will be changing focus from ‘low’ to zero carbon and will be introducing a new brand identity to better reflect our revised objective of net zero by 2050.

“We’ll be working with leading partners in the next few weeks to introduce a new name that will communicate our heightened ambition but still reflect the vital role every member has in contributing to rapid decarbonisation.”

You can view the transport secretary's speech in full, along with other presentations and videos from the conference on LowCVP's website.