Greenwashing and the UK Electric Vehicle Industry

By 2030, the UK will ban all new petrol and diesel vehicles as part of their net zero strategy by 2050. The resulting effects on businesses following the introduction of the UK’s environmental bill has appeared to be overwhelmingly good for the electric vehicle (EV) industry. In the past week, Pod Point, a UK EV charging company, will be listing its shares as a result of the rising interest in EVs. The consequences of this, however, are widely varied with both negative and positive results. On the one hand, the highly desirable green transition will continue on behalf of the consumers. On the other hand, the energy source of where companies draw their energy from, such as coal and oil, continues to negate such efforts. How can businesses and investors change the tide? 

On average, 21,000 vehicles cross London’s Tower Bridge per day.

The green tide has certainly been on the rise in the private sector alone. This is exemplified through more sustainable infrastructure being constructed throughout the UK. For instance, Canary Wharf Group has begun investing into environmental, social and governance (ESG). Canary Wharf drafted a strategy that not only focuses on building a more environmentally sustainable infrastructure, but will involve their tenants and supply chains in the transition to a greener economy. While Pod Point is in the business of green electric vehicles, it is worthwhile for them to take on a similar strategy where they involve their clientele by providing transparent reports on the type of energy their EV charging ports are consuming. 

In the past week, as a result of the rising prices of petrol, the UK brought back to life an old coal station on standby to meet consumer energy demands. As of 12 October, the National Grid stated that energy consumption levels of fossil fuel and coal were almost 45%. It was also noted that the major competitors of  non-green energy, in terms of consumption, are wind (18%) and nuclear (12%). What is most interesting in terms of energy consumption is the increasing interest in nuclear energy. Rolls Royce, the British engineering group, will be forging ahead in their project to build “mini-nuclear reactors”

While many may consider nuclear investment to be controversial to have in their ESG portfolio, nuclear energy is not to be feared. In fact, the technology of today has made much safe than ever before with the likes of Bill Gates standing behind such statements. Given the increasing nuclear interest, organizations such as BlackRock or London Stock Exchange, while they have diversified their ESG portfolio, should not be afraid to take on nuclear companies as it can serve as a combatant against the rising energy consumption from EVs. 

The future of the UK environmental goals rests upon the actions of businesses and investors alike, and it is important for green-focused companies to provide increased transparency of information, collaboration in addition to adopting newer strategies and technologies. Those we can draw lessons from, such as Canary Wharf Group, can help us achieve a net zero future. 

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