Pledge for zero emission cars and vans by 2040 announced at COP26

16th Nov 2021

A landmark agreement on zero emission cars and vans was unveiled to coincide with Transport Day at COP26 last week and the UK Government confirms Zero-emission HGVS from 2040.

Leaders from 24 countries have committed to working towards 100% zero emission new car and van sales by 2040 or earlier. With major vehicle manufacturers (GM, Ford, Mercedes, BYD, Volvo and JLR) 39 cities and 28 fleets all jointly setting out their pledges for all new car and van sales to be zero emission by 2040 (and 2035 in leading markets). 

Within this group, companies like Sainsbury’s and countries including Uruguay, El Salvador and New Zealand made new commitments to 100% zero emission vehicles. These follow proposals made by the EU, Chile, Canada and a number of US states to ensure all new cars are zero emission by 2035 and a number of emerging markets and developing economies committed to work to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles. These included India, Ghana, Kenya, Paraguay, Rwanda and Turkey.

The full pledge list can be seen here

The pledges made at COP26 included:

  • As governments, we will work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040 or earlier, or by no later than 2035 in leading markets. 
  • As cities, states, and regional governments, we will work towards converting our owned or leased car and van fleets to zero emission vehicles by 2035 at the latest, as well as putting in place policies that will enable, accelerate, or otherwise incentivise the transition to zero emission vehicles as soon as possible, to the extent possible given our jurisdictional powers. 
  • As automotive manufacturers, we will work towards reaching 100% zero emission new car and van sales in leading markets by 2035 or earlier, supported by a business strategy that is in line with achieving this ambition, as we help build customer demand. 
  • As business fleet owners and operators, or shared mobility platforms, we will work towards 100% of our car and van fleets being zero emission vehicles by 2030, or earlier where markets allow.

Other new initiatives revealed also included the World Bank’s Global Facility to Decarbonise Transport. This is a multi-donor trust fund that will mobilise £148m over the next 10 years to support the decarbonisation of road transport in emerging markets and developing economies.

Zero-emission HGVS from 2040

The UK Government has also announced it will phase out new, non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035. Having previously announced the end of the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, from 2040 all new HGVs sold in the UK are to also be zero emission. 

Other news included the UK government’s reveal of a new charge point design intended to make the infrastructure accessible and ensure devices are as iconic as the British post box, London bus or black cab.