The Government has reaffirmed its target that it will have a zero-emission fleet by 2030, with the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, writing to every Government department with detailed guidance on how they can make the transition.

The Department for Transport said Government departments will be required to publish a yearly report outlining the progress made towards the target.

At present, electric vehicles make up 23% of the Government Car Service – which provides vehicles for ministers and senior officials – fleet, which is in itself managed by the DfT.

“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to own an ultra-low emission vehicle, and as a Government we have to lead by example,” Grayling said. “I am pleased with the change we are making to the Government Car Service, but this now needs to be reflected in all fleets that are controlled by Government and it is absolutely vital that all parts of Government play their part in delivering this ambitious target.”

BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney, welcomed the commitment, but called on the Government to do more by reducing its reliance on grey fleet vehicles.

Plug-in vehicles

“We welcome the news that transport minister Chris Grayling has written to every other department urging them to play their part in delivering the Government’s pledge to have a zero-emission car fleet by 2030. Unfortunately, this big gesture will have a relatively small impact. To make a real difference, we would like to see the government review its internal policies relating to the use of personal cars for business,” Keaney said.

“The BVRLA Grey Fleet report published in 2016 estimated that the Civil Service grey fleet mileage was in the region of 265 million miles a year, costing £126m in mileage claims from civil servants doing business using their own vehicles. The average grey fleet car is around eight years old and emits 16% more CO2 than an average rental car, which is what Government staff should be using for their journeys in the absence of a practical public transport option,” he added.