© Milan / Adobe Stock
With other changes to Net Zero plans, like a five year delay on the diesel and petrol vehicles ban, affecting the vehicle and plant industry, leaders in the sector respond.
Construction Equipment Association
Suneeta Johal, CEO of the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) expressed her thoughts on the Prime Minister’s speech:
“In recent years, the construction equipment sector has taken significant leaps in embracing alternative fuels and pioneering electric machinery. Our prevailing agenda revolves around decarbonisation, with a clear vision directed toward achieving net-zero emissions. Members of the CEA have collectively poured millions into research and development, striving to be at the forefront of sustainable innovation. It’s both disheartening and frustrating when, after such substantial investment and progress, the metaphorical goalposts seem to shift, making it challenging for our members to plan and execute their long-term strategies with confidence.
Such announcements create ambiguity in the construction equipment industry, especially in its endeavours to phase out diesel and transition to alternative energy sources. Every industry, including the construction equipment rental sector, holds a pivotal position in the transition to a greener future. Our members at the CEA are in pursuit of transparent and stable governmental policies, particularly those that have been in place for a while and influence pivotal investment choices, as well as the innovation of diesel-free solutions for construction machinery. Regrettably, the Prime Minister’s remarks don’t facilitate this mission and instill further uncertainty about future investments and the green transition for upcoming construction equipment fleets.”
Construction Plant-hire Association
Chris Cassley, Policy Manager of the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) said: “The announcement by the Prime Minister adds confusion to the construction equipment sector on its efforts to remove diesel from sites and move towards alternative fuels.
“Like all business sectors, the construction plant-hire sector has a key role to play in decarbonisation. CPA members want clarity and consistency in government policy when it comes to long established policies that impact on investment decisions, and the development of new diesel free technologies in construction plant. The Prime Minister’s speech does nothing to help this process and further throws into doubt future investment decisions and efforts to decarbonise the construction plant fleets of the future,” Chris continued.
Lisa Brankin, Ford UK Chair, said:
“Three years ago the government announced the UK’s transition to electric new car and van sales from 2030. The auto industry is investing to meet that challenge.
Ford has announced a global $50 billion commitment to electrification, launching nine electric vehicles by 2025. The range is supported by £430 million invested in Ford’s UK development and manufacturing facilities, with further funding planned for the 2030 timeframe.
This is the biggest industry transformation in over a century and the UK 2030 target is a vital catalyst to accelerate Ford into a cleaner future. Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three. We need the policy focus trained on bolstering the EV market in the short term and supporting consumers while headwinds are strong: infrastructure remains immature, tariffs loom and cost-of-living is high.”