Zero Emission Mobility Industry Advisory Group - Meeting 2 - 28 October 2020


Update on progress and developments

  • ZE bus - TS workstreams & policy development
  • Hydrogen as a Key Transport Decarbonisation Route
    • SG-wide strategic activity
    • H2 Accelerator - role and priorities 
  • SE’s Transport Programme (ZE HDV Programme, etc)
  • Strategic Partnership


  • Overview of our understanding of C-19 related impacts on IAG themes and priorities
  • Reflections from members on key C-19 impacts on their sectors & consequences for IAG role

IAG Work Programme

Facilitated discussion on:

  • Priorities for future IAG Programme – next 2 meetings’ focus
  • Expected elements of evolution of IAG

Timetable of meetings/workshops

Summary of actions/decisions

Background Summary

Restatement of Vision

We have the know-how, natural assets and ingenuity to be:

  • A global player in supply chains for zero emission mobility (H2 and Battery) for heavier and niche vehicles
  • An international centre of expertise in energy-transport system integration
  • A global destination for innovation in sustainable, zero emission mobility

The Group is advising on a bold sector growth plan to help realise this vision.

N.B. - Meeting 2 was not realised as a full session of IAG, rather a coming-together to re-group, re-energise, update on progress over 2020 during the period of pandemic disruption to group activities, and discuss IAG’s future role).

Preparatory paper issued to members in advance of meeting

Priorities for IAG

  • Host workshops on heavy-duty vehicles and light commercial vehicles to establish focused action plans, drawing on the experience of the bus work.
  • Deliver an evidence base to improve how we target future support for the development of demonstrator vehicles or drivetrains.
  • Advance the Enterprise-led HDV programme.
  • Support a new innovation network bringing together academia, sector specialist, companies and funders.
  • Establish a new skills programmes run by ESP targeting Heavy Vehicle sector needs and H2.
  • Work with SDI and Trade and Investment on Scottish prospectus(es).
  • Prepare an IAG discussion paper on unlocking infrastructure (and fleet) investment at scale.
  • Prepare an outline final report and action plan.

COVID-19 Impact Assessment

The pandemic has had a profound and lasting impact on mobility systems. Operators have faced a collapsing demand and increasing operating costs. In the short term, the crisis is likely to accelerate a number of pre-existing trends affecting supply, demand and structural change within mobility systems, meaning there will be opportunities to embrace.


  • Ridership on public transport fell 70-90% at its peak in major cities from pre-COVID levels. With continued reluctance to use public transport until a vaccine operators have delayed or cancelled investment in new zero emission fleets, causing financial pressures for manufacturers (e.g. ADL)
  • The UK new car market suffered its worst September since 1999, with just 328,041 cars registered over the month, 15% below the September average for the past decade. Despite this, sales of EV’s in the UK in August 2020 were up almost two-thirds from August 2019, with EV’s now accounting for 5% of new car sales and PHEV’s, 10%. Improvements are, however, now being seen in the overall market with pent-up demand being released.
  • Residual Values for vehicles in the UK are expected to drop following the crisis, although by the end of 2022, the UK is expected to have recovered in terms of used car prices to levels above those in March 2020.
  • Road traffic volumes, which had dropped between 70-85%2 in peak lockdown, are now starting to increase back to pre-CV levels, and may exceed them.


  • There is a strong global political commitment to Net Zero, with the UK government vowing to “Build back better and greener”, creating opportunities for EV manufacturers and retailers and their supply-chains, and incentives for purchases of EV’s in countries across Europe.
  • New consumer habits around remote working and e-commerce are creating opportunities for on-location services and zero emission last-mile and micro-mobility services.
  • There is an opportunity to translate our short-term reduction in oil consumption (as seen by the 5% decrease in global demand in the first quarter of 2020) into a permanent shift. With passenger transport being responsible for ~40% of final oil demand this could have a profound impact on the net zero agenda.
  • There is an opportunity to convert the uptake of active travel into a more permanent shift (e.g. cyclist numbers increased by 3.5 times during the peak months of outbreak, compared to its pre-COVID levels).
  • Agile decision-making practices, established across government, will help support growth and innovation.

Brexit Impact Assessment

In 2019, the UK exported £17.3 billion of road vehicles to the EU. Securing an ambitious trade deal with the UK is the therefore one of, if not, the automotive sector’s top priority. More broadly, European goods are deeply integrated in the UK Mobility sector’s supply chains. However, this shift in reliance also provides a number of domestic opportunities.


  • A ‘No deal’ Brexit will have a profound impact on the automotive sector, introducing delays at the EU-UK border, adding cost and disrupting supply chains.
  • There will be negative impact on cost of manufacturing from both the lower pound FOREX rate and tariffs – especially for electric vehicles since many key components - including batteries and chasses (e.g. ADL’s Volvo floorplans) - are sourced outside the EU.
  • Domestic demand for UK-produced vehicles is likely to fall if a planned 10% import tariff is levied by the EU on vehicles where the majority of components are sourced from outside the bloc (UK = ~56%).
  • We will lose free and frictionless trade with the EU as well as an end to preferential trade with a further 70 countries worldwide.
  • Future tariff uncertainty is already adversely impacting investments in the UK (e.g. gigafactories).
  • Future restrictions on the free movement of people could result in a loss of high-skilled labour force in the country e.g. as of August 2019 JLR employed 1,000 EU nationals, mostly in critical engineering posts.


  • A lower pound could result in a positive impact on UK exports as goods become cheaper on the international market (albeit this will be counteracted by any tariffs).
  • Disrupted European supply chains could provide opportunities for growth of the UK component market to replace these.
  • To maintain competitiveness of the automotive sector will require investment by industry and government in skills and facilities to build more components domestically.
  • The UK’s automotive average emission level is offset by those sold in other EU countries. This will not continue post BREXIT. In order to reduce the present average emissions figure of 127.9g/km to the targeted 95g/km or less, the UK will need to embrace innovative new technologies that represent an opportunity for players in the clean-tech sector.
  • Decreased access to the EU labour market will create a need and opportunity for the UK to develop key skills in the emerging technology ecosystem.

Strategic Partnership Update

  • SPEN’s Project PACE - £5.3m of Transport Scotland strategic grant funding - up to 44 hubs and 180 chargers.
    • First hub live August, 7th hub will be live this week, 3 more are imminent and another 8 are under construction.
  • SPEN GEF £500k funded site selection study published - showing DNO led approach is expected to enable savings of up to £2.6m (66%) in connection costs.
    • This saving is already factored into the £5.3M grant funding for Project PACE, however if scaled up across UK enabling potential >£300m savings, >£25m across Scotland.

    • Other potential efficiencies and time savings will be tested in delivery phase and reviewed with Transport Scotland.
  • Community transport – SPEN GEF finding ca£1m of electric vehicles for 6 groups across Lanarkshire.
    • Significant learnings expected for community transport low carbon transition – both benefits and blockers.
  • SPEN collaboration with Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) at the University of Strathclyde (Prof. Karen Turner).
    • 2020 published report shows a 99% penetration of EVs by 2050 could see ~30,000 new jobs created (UK wide).
    • Could also lead to an increase of 0.16% GDP per annum as well as an increase in wages (+0.1%) across the UK.
  • SSEN partnership projects being delivered across next 2 years include - a study of charging needs for peak tourist demand in rural areas (E-tourism project) and trials of portable EV charging solutions (LEVEL project).
  • SSEN Electric A9 Network Feasibility Studies – selected 10 sites from potential 33, saving 25% potential connection costs.
  • Electric buses - partnership considering innovation projects and scope for shared information/learnings Plus, evidence submitted to Ofgem’s RIIO-T2 and RIIO-ED2 consultations supporting need to set network price controls that can facilitate Scotland’s more ambitious net zero targets and green recovery

Published Date 28 Oct 2020 Type Topic