Connect delivers ground-breaking low carbon vehicle conference

On Tuesday, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) held its annual conference at BIS (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) in the heart of Whitehall. Connect Communications worked with LowCVP to build an industry-leading event focusing on low carbon investment and how it will transform the automotive sector, drive growth, drive productivity and a reduce global carbon emissions.

Ground-breaking LCV models are beginning to lead the pack – not least the Prius which led the charge and captured drivers’ imaginations while competitors were only in first gear. Now the market is far more diverse – sportscars, estate cars, hot hatches all come with a hybrid option. The LowCVP Conference sported a selection of top of the range LCVs; including the car of the moment that everyone’s talking about – the Tesla Model S, as well as the sexy BMW i3, the most successful LCV the Nissan Leaf which is built in Sunderland, and the Ford Fiesta Ecoboost fresh from its win at International Engine of the Year 2014. Delegates enjoyed geeking out over these cars – in particular playing with the Tesla’s touchscreen control panel. In a world of Top Gear and petrolheads, we now have proof that you can drive a cool car and help the planet at the same time.

LowCVP’s new report Investing in the Low Carbon Journey found that much of the resurgence in the UK’s automotive industry has been partly a result of an industrial policy focused on the drive to cut carbon emissions from transport – in their words that “a sustained policy approach can produce both ‘green’ results and growth”. The upbeat report, which surveyed over 120 industry leaders across the automotive industry, demonstrated that consistent policy making on low carbon, combined with strong investment and partnership between government and industry, has been a big UK success story.

However, there are clearly still many challenges to be taken on if we are going to achieve the UK’s Climate Act target of decarbonising road transport by 2050. In her speech to the conference, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer recognised the role that government needs to play, saying they are determined that the UK will be a leading global player in the low carbon vehicles industry.

The public have a significant role to play as demanding consumers and there still needs to be a shift in mindset to cut car emissions at a really significant level. It was pointed out that 60% of electric charge points in London have never been used. But French company Bolloré, who are bringing their electric vehicle car sharing scheme to London next year, are confident that Brits will embrace electric cars – so confident that they are investing billions in London. Imagine being able to jump in an electric car for £4 for half an hour? You heard it here first – it’s the future!

While Jeremy Clarkson might still turn his nose up at electric cars, there is clearly a growing appetite for cleaner vehicles that are cheaper and greener to run. The clear consensus from the conference was that we’re now on the brink of a low carbon vehicle takeover.

You can find more information about LowCVP and the conference at or on Twitter via the hashtag #lowcvp14.The conference was managed by Connect Communications, who are specialists in providing policy-focussed conferences and events with public affairs support.

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