After the White House started a vegetable garden, Downing Street—home to the British Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer—was quick to get in on the act too. Now, after the White House got solar panels, we hear via Business Green that Downing Street is installing electric vehicle (EV) charge points. It's all part of a broader push to promote EVs, which will include a government commitment to buy 300 plug-in vehicles:
Let's be honest, in terms of actual numbers, the initiative feels like a drop in the water. 300 vehicles in the government fleet is hardly the stuff that revolutions are made from. Nevertheless, there is important symbolism here—and it is a sign that the government intends to continue pushing for a cleaner, modern transportation system.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said the government was now "putting its money where its mouth is" when it came to the deployment of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs).
"We're very committed to the agenda of ultra-low emission vehicles," she said. "In 2040, virtually every new car in the UK will be a ULEV, but we want to build that market as fast as we can."
That said, it also comes on the back of news (also at Business Green) that the government may be quietly downgrading its climate change minister, and is also off-course for hitting its ambitious climate targets.
Symbolism is nice. Let's just hope it's not a fig leaf.