More environmentally-friendly, cleaner transport is on its way – from shipping to air travel – however, government action on incentives and infrastructure is necessary to drive rapid and large-scale change.

“At times in the UK, it can be quite exasperating, with the government postponing targets and assistance,” notes Murvah Iqbal, co-CEO and creator of all-electric delivery network Hived. Hived serves ASOS, Zara, Pip & Nut, and Minor Figures as clients and aims to contribute to the decarbonization of the 10 to 12 billion packages delivered annually in the UK. However, Iqbal emphasizes that electric vehicle infrastructure requires investment.

Igor Murakami, head of new services and open innovation at Jaguar Land Rover, concurs. “The market is very fragmented, thus we require government backing to streamline everything,” he explains. “It’s a significant investment to ensure that we have adequate energy, charging points, and space to prevent congestion.”

In air travel, markets are progressing more efficiently than the government, says Tom O’Leary, CEO at JetZero, which is on track to introduce a zero-carbon-emissions, hydrogen-powered, blended-wing aircraft in 2030.

“The entrenched dynamics of a global market that’s dominated by a duopoly didn’t really have any interest in disrupting themselves,” he says. “We found that a 50 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions can be achieved using the exact same engines, prior to transitioning to future propulsion.”

And that’s just the beginning, asserts Katya Constant, chief investment officer at ZeroAvia. Fuel-cell technology needs a decade to advance – but her company is launching a hydrogen engine for 20-seat aircraft in 2025.

This article appears in the March/April 2024 issue of WIRED UK magazine.