Tesco joins calls for gov to bring forward zero-emission vehicle deadline

Tesco has joined calls for the UK government to fast-track the shift to zero-emission cars and vans to 2030.

The big four supermarket has joined a coalition of 27 large businesses - including Dixons Carphone, E.ON, Heathrow, Lime and SSE - in calling for faster action to tackle emissions and climate change as the government reviews its plans for zero emission car and van sales.

As New York’s Climate Week continues, Tesco announced that it has joined the UK Electric Fleets Coalition, a partnership launched by the Climate Group and BT, including Openreach.

Together these companies are already working to electrify over 400,000 of their own vehicles in the UK, most of them through the Climate Group’s global EV100 campaign.

In addition to the date being brought forward to 2030, the businesses are calling for policies to support UK manufacturing of battery electric vehicles to help the automotive sector through the transition, extend financial incentives to boost demand; and unlock investment to help rapidly rollout charging points.

Tesco has also announced that it is joining the EV100 initiative. This now includes 86 businesses committed to switching over 4.8 million vehicles across the world to zero emissions and annually reporting on their progress.

For comparison, new car sales for the UK last year totalled 2.3 million vehicles.

As host of next year’s postponed UN climate talks (COP26), the UK is under pressure to set an example to the world. The EU has just upped its proposed climate target and China has signalled it’s considering doing the same.

Figures from Climate Group, which organised Climate Week, suggest that four out of five of the UK’s largest private sector fleets now back the move to zero emission only new cars in 2030 and will be taking their whole fleets electric by then too.

Giles Bolton, responsible sourcing director at Tesco, said: “We are delighted to become signatories of the EV100 campaign, which brings together both our commitment to transition to 100 per cent electric vans, and our plan to install EV chargers for Tesco customers and colleagues all over the UK.

“The electrification of transport is crucial to becoming a zero carbon business by 2035 in the UK and 2050 globally, and we will need collaboration across industry and government through the likes of EV100 in order to overcome the barriers to transition together.”

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