The UK is set to bring forward its ban on new fossil fuel cars from 2040 to 2030, according to reports. If confirmed, the move will bring the UK in-line with many of its European counterparts – including Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands – and will mark a major breakthrough in hastening the country’s net-zero strategy.

The announcement is expected to be made this coming autumn in conjunction with the much-anticipated Energy White Paper, which was initially penciled in for release last summer and is set to outline the Government’s policy roadmap towards carbon neutrality.

One of the chief concerns around the de-carbonisation of the UK’s transport sector has been question marks over the resilience of the UK’s distribution and transmission networks, particularly given that roll-out of electric vehicles (EV) could increase peak national demand by as much as 10%. This has been brought into sharp focus in recent weeks with a number of network operators stating that the cuts in revenues proposed in the latest round of price controls (known as RIIO-2) could dramatically increase the chances of future blackouts.

However, Graeme Cooper of National Grid believes that such concerns are unsubstantiated. He is “confident that a faster transition is possible” and that the network is “suitably robust”.

An acceleration in EV uptake will likely lead to an increase in wholesale energy costs given that a full transition is expected to see an increase in national demand by one-third against current levels. It may also bring forward further incentives to drop load during peak hours either through cost reduction schemes or additional revenue streams.

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