Electric vehicles hold the promise, if widely adopted, of drastically reducing carbon emissions from surface transport and could, therefore, form a major plank in the UK’s efforts to meet the binding emissions reduction targets enshrined in the 2008 Climate Change Act.
Most credible energy scenarios for the UK based on the earlier CO2 emissions reduction targets of 60% compared to 1990 levels strategically allocated all emissions savings to other sectors of the UK economy, allowing the majority of road transport to be powered by fossil fuels. The revision of the emission reduction targets to 80% means that this is no longer an option and we now need radical changes in the way we power and use transport. Any likely future UK energy system will almost certainly involve the electrification of a significant proportion of the transport system. The most likely scenario for the development of electric vehicles is probably a mixture of Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and pure Electric Vehicles (EVs) on the roads.