Welcome to the third and final section of the IBTimes UK guide to technology pledges made by the three major political parties ahead of the 2017 General Election on 8 June.
Having already looked at what the Conservative Party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats say about 4G, 5G and broadband in part one, and the internet and cyber security in part two, we finally turn to transport. Here we have highlighted pledges made regarding electric and driverless vehicles, and the aims set by each party to reduce emissions created by public and private transport.
The Conservative Party
- Become a world-leader in electric vehicle technology and use
- Almost every car and van to be zero-emissions by 2015
- £600m to be spent between now and 2020 to help achieve this
- Investment in low-emissions buses
Regarding the UK's position in the development of driverless vehicles, the Tories say: "We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railway, so that our roads and tracks can carry more people, faster, more safely and more efficiently."
The government's aim, it says, is "for Britain to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use." The longterm goal is for "almost every car and van to be zero-emissions by 2050", and £600m will be spent between now and 2020 to help achieve this.
Additionally, the party says: "We will invest in more low-emission buses, as well as supporting audio-visual displays for bus passengers and community minibuses for rural areas poorly served by public transport."
Finally, the manifesto promises investment in research and development in the transport sector, to "turn brilliant discoveries into practical products and transform the world's industries – such as the batteries that will power a new generation of clean, efficient, electric vehicles."
The Labour Party
- Position UK at forefront of ulta-low emission vehicle development and manufacturing
- Plans to retro-fit diesel buses with Euro 6 engines
Although finances are not discussed, Labour is taking a similar approach to the development of efficient vehicles. The party says it will "position the UK at the forefront of the development, manufacture and use of ultra low emission vehicles, supporting the creation of clean modes of transport through investment in low emission vehicles."
Diesel buses currently in use will be retro-fitted "to Euro 6 standards", a limit set by the European Union on how much harmful gas like nitrogen oxide can be emitted from an engine.
The Liberal Democrats
- Reduce net greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2040 and to zero by 2050
- Support the manufacturing of low-emission and electric vehicles
- Introduce a diesel scrappage scheme
- Ban the sale of diesel cars and small vans by 2025
- Develop an electric car charging network
- Encourage swift uptake of electric and driverless vehicles
The Lib Dems plans to pass the Zero-Carbon Britain Act, to set legally binding targets which aim to "reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2040 and to zero by 2050."
There are also plans for a Green Transport Act and an Air Quality Plan to reduce air pollution and improve our health. Mirroring the Conservatives and Labour, the party plans to "support the manufacture of low-emission and electric vehicles, generating jobs and exports."
Should the Lib Dems walk into Number 10 on 9 June, they will introduce a diesel scrappage scheme, then ban the sale of diesel cars and small vans in the UK by 2025.
To increase electric vehicle sales, the party pledges to reform vehicle tax rules and "develop electric vehicle infrastructure including universal charging points."
Ultra-low emissions zones will be extended to 10 more towns and cities, although these are not named, and all private hire vehicles and diesel buses licensed to operate in urban areas will have to be either hybrid or fully electric within the next five years, the Lib Dems say.
The only mention of autonomous cars states: "[The party will] encourage the swift take-up of electric and driverless vehicles."