Tackling climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and the clock is ticking.

In 2020, Digest of UK Energy Statistics showed that transport continues to be the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the UK, accounting for more than a quarter of all carbon emissions in the UK. As a Transmission network owner, National Grid will play a crucial role in enabling transport to decarbonise and help the UK deliver its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

 

Our role in transport decarbonisation

As the owner and operator of the transmission network, National Grid is poised to facilitate and help drive the transition to cleaner transport in the UK by bringing the right people together, to have the right conversations and shape future solutions.

All modes of transport will need to decarbonise, no matter the scale and complexity. We are confident that we can make a difference, but huge changes are needed and fast to enable the transition to clean transport. Significant energy infrastructure is required connecting transport hubs, managing the supply and demand (electricity system operator), and supporting alternative fuels, e.g. hydrogen

For a summary of what we’ve been up to in the transport decarbonisation space across our UK & US business

Download the summary

 

Government plans, commitments and strategies

On 14 July 2021 the UK Government published its Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP). The plan sets out Government’s decarbonisation ambitions and commitments for all transport sectors (cars, vans, HGVs, buses, rail, maritime and aviation). We acknowledge that this is the beginning of a complex process to deliver the policy and infrastructure needed to enable this transition. 

Government also released the Hydrogen Strategy for the UK on 17 August 2021, which explores the critical role that hydrogen will play in the UK’s transition to net-zero. 

To find out how these plans and strategies impact each transport sector and to get a feel for what we’ve been up to, to support this transition, click on the icons below.

Supporting the growth of clean transport: Decarbonising Heavy Goods Vehicles on the Strategic Road Network

Our analysis shows that there is a strong synergy between EV and
HGV en-route energy provision to Motor Services Agreements (MSAs) in England and Wales, if Transmission connection solutions are used. Providing electricity capacity at MSAs for cars and vans through the roll-out of the Rapid Charge Fund creates an opportunity for other modes of road transport to utilise some of this provision. Read our report by following this link.

Read the report

The future of transport

The future of transport

Transport is the highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK. For the UK to deliver its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 there will need to be huge changes to the transport we use, whether that's by air, sea or land.

Watch the video

 

FAQs

At National Grid, we are aware that the transition to cleaner transport might seem daunting. This section will outline some of the questions we are frequently asked by businesses and consumers.

Who is National Grid and what do we do?
Can the Grid cope?

As the journey towards mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) speeds up, it’s vital that there’s enough clean energy to power this transport revolution. Our Transport Decarbonisation Director, Graeme Cooper, has long championed the adoption of EVs and is confident the grid can support the extra demand for electricity this transition will create. 

"There is definitely enough energy and the grid can cope easily,” 


“The growth in renewable energy means this is not static and smart metering will make this more efficient. For example, the growth in wind power from the extra offshore wind farms being developed will adequately meet the future demand for electrifying transport – an extra 100 terrawatt hours from our current 300 terrawatt hours consumed. Preparations have been underway for a while, as we’ve been discussing how best we can work towards the green transport changeover with government, electricity distribution companies, who transport the energy from the grid to homes and businesses, service station operators and charge point providers for over two years." 

What fuels and technology will be used in the transition to clean transport?

We are here to support all solutions, regardless of technology and fuel. We are continuing to promote the need to accelerate technology trials across all transport sectors, in order to provide much needed clarity to stakeholders.

What advice can National Grid give me in regards to next steps to take within my sector?

If you are exploring your options for decarbonising your fleet, firstly, it’s important to understand your charging / refuelling requirements. You will need to understand: 

  • how many vehicles require a connection – this may include an array of vehicles 

  • the type of charging / refuelling you require – rapid or slow that can take place overnight 

  • where you require charging / refuelling facilities – is this at a depot or could a shared charging solution be used? 

We are uniquely positioned in the energy sector, we work alongside the local distribution network operators and councils and by having an initial conversation with us, we can come up with the right solution for your needs. You can contact our Decarbonisation of Transport team by emailing [email protected]

How are we decarbonising our own fleet?

We’re advancing our commitment to decarbonisation and the future of clean transportation by joining the EV100 initiative. Find out more about how we are decarbonising our fleet.

Where can I hear other common myths get busted?

By the 2030s new petrol and diesel car sales will be banned, so the number of electric vehicles (EVs) will need to grow even faster than today.

However, in our discussions with many people about EVs, there is still work to do to bust some of the many myths out there. So together with Octopus Energy, we asked Arup to look into their whole Life Cycle from before, during and after you get an EV, including what it means for the energy system.

This report Full Charge – Electric Vehicles and a Decarbonised Future sets out the facts and the progress that has been and is still being made across costs of running an EV, charging infrastructure and their environmental impact.

The future for EVs is positive and we hope this report helps bust some of those myths for you!

Download the report


You can also check out Top Gear’s interview with our Transport Decarbonisation Director, Graeme Cooper.  

 

Related news, stories and podcasts etc

Watch now

Myth busting with motor journalist Quentin Wilson and National Grid Graeme Cooper

Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets at National Grid discusses whether the grid can cope with the electrification of vehicles in an interview with motoring journalist Quentin Wilson. Graeme busts myths around EV reliability and the uncertainty of renewable energy, how are we transitioning to cleaner energy and why are batteries so important in our race to a cleaner world. See the interview here.

Watch now

Inspiring leaders for the road ahead...

Lease Plan, Co-founder of the influential EVI00, today announced their 'EV Hot 20' inspiring leaders making a real difference. National Grid achieved top honours with Graeme Cooper BSc MBA and Lorna McAtear being recognised for their collaborative and strategic work that is delivering real change.

Read all about it

New online tool will help UK ports transition to net zero

National Grid has partnered with Siemens to create a free online tool to help UK ports meet their net zero targets. The tool will aid decarbonisation by helping ports forecast the future infrastructure needed to meet potential increased demand for electricity from zero emission operations.

Find out more...
ITT Hub conference

Innovation Technology and Transportation Hub 2021

Find out more about our 2021 event which showcased our critical role in the decarbonisation of transport in the UK and our work alongside partners including British Ports Association, Maritime UK, Stagecoach Bus, Rolls Royce and Harley Davidson.

Watch video
The Clean Energy Revolution

Podcast: Driving a Transport Revolution

Helen Skelton from the BBC talks to Graeme Cooper and other industry experts on driving a transport revolution.

Listen now
EV charging station

National Grid's Guide to... Decarbonisation of Transport Webcast

A short, virtual session covering our ambitions and progress in decarbonising transport.

Watch webcast
Woman smiling whilst on the phone

Contact us

For general enquiries, or you simply want to find out more about decarbonising transport, contact our Decarbonisation of Transport team:

Talk to us

Green EV charging

Get connected

Whether you have a large or small energy project, find out more about how to connect to our electricity transmission network here:

Connect