The decarbonisation of UK transport

The decarbonisation of UK transport

KPMG’s latest predictions on the fuel mix for 2030 and 2040.

Simon Virley - Partner and Head of Power and Utilities - KPMG UK

Vice Chair and Head of Energy and Natural Resources

KPMG in the UK


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Creating a low carbon environment to combat climate change has become one of the biggest public policy issues of our time. Central to the success of this is the decarbonisation of transport, which is the biggest single carbon-emitting sector in the UK.

In this article we look at the current fuel mix across the main vehicle categories and likely path to decarbonisation of transport through 2030 and 2040. We also consider what milestones will need to be achieved in order to make a 2050 target feasible. In particular:

  • Electrification of cars and Low Carbon Vehicles (LCVs) is now underway. We predict that 94% of passenger cars and 90% of LCVs will be Electric Vehicles (EV): Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV ) by 2040.
  • Particular solutions need to be found for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, where diesel is likely to remain dominant into and beyond 2030 without intervention.
  • We predict accelerated progress for both medium and heavy commercial vehicles beyond 2030 once Total cost of Ownership (TCO) parity is achieved for alternatives to diesel, which will significantly increase demand for hydrogen and electric - where cases allow.

For our full predictions across vehicle categories, download the Decarbonisation of transport: Putting the UK on the road to success, report. 

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