Less than 2% of the Department for Transport’s car fleet consists of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles, new figures have revealed.

According to a Parliamentary Written Reply to Labour’s shadow transport secretary,  John McDonald, just 21 of the 1,830 vehicles operated by the Department for Transport and its agencies (which includes Maritime & Coastguard Agency, DVSA, DVSA, VCA and DVLA).

A further Written Reply confirmed to McDonald that the DfT had taken on just two ULEVs in 2018.

In the DfT’s Road to Zero whitepaper – which sets out how it wants to achieve its goal of ending the sale of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 – published last summer, the DfT reaffirmed an expectation that a quarter of the central Government’s car fleet will consist of ultra-low emission vehicles by 2022 and that all new car purchases are ultra-low emission “by default.”

Plug-in vehicles

However, the Government is “on course” to meet to meet this target, though it means the DfT’s take-up of ULEVs lags behind other departments.

“The Tories’ policies show how little they care about the environment and dealing with air pollution. Chris Grayling’s hypocrisy and failure to get his own department to order more low-emission vehicles is further proof of that,” said McDonald.

Responding to a Lords Written Question by Lord Berkeley on 12 November 2018, Baroness Sugg, a parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Transport, said 11.2% of the central fleet is zero-emission, however, she added by the end of 201,  21.2% of the fleet would  comprise of ULEVs as diesel vehicles were due to be replaced.

A DfT spokesperson said: “To suggest that the DfT immediately scrap all its non-electric vehicles would be a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money that would be wholly disproportionate to the environmental benefit it would bring.”