Rushlight Investor Briefing

Investor Briefing


Investing in Clean Transport

14 March 2018

5.30pm to 9pm

Hosted by

30 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AG

There are many factors currently affecting the evolution of transport, including air quality concerns, decarbonisation, autonomous vehicles, advances in energy storage, population movement into urban areas, smart cities, the need for reverse logistics, online retailing and now the new Clean Growth Strategy.

Of all the sectors in the economy, transport is the one which is undergoing the most rapid change at the moment.  Having been a laggard compared with the evolution of electricity generation, it is now looking to catch up fast.  Headlines very recently have been:

  • Transport has become the UK’s biggest sector polluter, following the 5% reduction in national emissions last year
  • Government to phase out diesel trains by 2040
  • All Volvo cars to be electric or hybrid from 2019
  • Dyson plans to launch electric car in 2020
  • France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040
  • Electric bus sets record with 1,101-mile trip on a single charge
  • London’s ultra low emission zone arrives in 2019
  • Diesel vehicles to be banned from Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico by 2025
  • Volkswagen offers UK drivers up to £7,000 to scrap diesel cars
  • More fully electric buses to run in London in drive to clean up air
  • EasyJet plans to use electric planes for short haul flights within 10 years
  • World’s first zero-emission hydrogen train to begin operations in Germany
  • Paris orders battery-overhead electric locomotives
  • British Airways tries again on waste-based biofuels
  • Electric vehicle charge points to outnumber petrol stations by 2020 in UK
  • Oxford plans to leapfrog London with world’s first Zero Emission Zone
  • Government launches proposals to boost charge points for EVs
  • Evolving global supply chain risks must raise red flag for EV manufacturers

The fundamental question is whether this has made any difference to the original broad vision for the clean transport system, involving electric cars for personal use and short haul logistics, hydrogen or biomethane in heavy goods vehicles for longer trips, the complete electrification of railways and biofuels for aeroplanes.

The recently announced Clean Growth Strategy places a major focus on the decarbonisation of transport with 33 per cent of the money being spent on that sector. In particular, there will be innovation funding for autonomous vehicles and charging infrastructure for EV to complement the Automated and EV Bill announced in the Queen’s speech.  Despite saying that “ULEVs on the market today are already an attractive proposition for a significant proportion of motorists”, the plan proposes to spend £1 billion supporting the take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), including discounts on upfront costs on the purchase of an electric vehicle.  More than £840m of public funds will be funnelled towards low-carbon transport innovation to accelerate new fuel uses, while the Strategy claims that Government will work with industry to develop an Automotive Sector Deal to accelerate the uptake of zero-emission vehicles.

The UK has faced numerous warnings that it will miss crucial 2020 transport targets and significantly damage its global reputation as a climate leader unless “major policy improvements” are rapidly enforced.  Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “The Clean Growth Strategy reinforces our clear commitment to reduce emissions across the UK and to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.  An Energy and Climate Change Select Committee report from September revealed that in the UK the share of renewables in transport fuel has flatlined at 4.75%. The Clean Growth Strategy pledges to “develop one of the best electric vehicle charging networks in the world” to help decarbonise the transport sector.

So with all this happening in the next few years, will it still be the current major car manufacturers making cars, albeit of the new type, with one or two new incumbents like Tesla?  Will it be predominantly the existing major energy companies providing the new biofuels?

While in the long run it may well be the major players today operating in the brave new clean transport world of tomorrow, it is more than likely that they will have achieved that position by buying companies that have taken the lead technologically and in the market with the solution of choice.  This then provides a ready and willing exit point in the near future for investors who have financed the companies which have developed the leading solutions.

Is there a risk that significant investment will be made in the deployment of new technologies that become stranded, such as the effect on  the domestic EV charging infrastructure if autonomous vehicles take off?

This event will take a close look at the indicators for choosing the winners in this race for the technological and market-ready solutions.  Which areas are the clear favourites and which are the outsiders which could nevertheless be very rewarding? Which routes run the highest technological risk?

This event will be ideal for investors, financiers, low emission transport supply chain, technology developers, consultants,  vehicle manufacturers, fuel manufacturers and distributors, logistics companies, transport professionals, sustainability consultants and other professionals, local authorities and other public sector officials, advisers, media and other intermediaries.



5.30pm             Registration

6.00pm             Welcome – Michael Sippitt, Chairman, Clarkslegal LLP

6.05pm             Opening remarks – Mike Read, Partner, Grant Thornton

6.15pm             Keynote 1: Overview of current status of transport sector – Denis Naberezhnykh, Technical Director, Ricardo.  His presentation is HERE

6.40pm             Keynote 2:  The regulatory framework, support and vision for low carbon transport – Rachel Solomon Williams, Head Low Carbon Fuels, Department for Transport.  Her presentation is in 6 parts due to their size: 1.  HERE  2. HERE   3. HERE   4. HERE  5.  HERE    6. HERE

7.10pm             Panel Discussion moderated by Clive Hall, Rushlight Events, augmented by:

Tom Holmer, General Manager, Sustainable Shipping Initiative

David Pummell, CEO, Velocys

Fiona Spowers, Communication Director, Riversimple

Shamit Gaiger, Programme Director Sector Policy, RSSB

7.45pm             Networking drinks

9.00pm             Close


Who should attend?

Fund managers, venture capitalists, private equity, high net worth individuals, business angels, analysts, brokers, corporate financial advisors, corporate investors, vehicle manufacturers, technology specialists, fuel and other resource specialists, procurement specialists,  transport and logistics professionals, financiers, consultants, technology developers, advisers, corporate sustainability professionals and other followers and participants in the transport and energy sectors.


Rachel Solomon Williams – Department for Transport

Rachel Solomon Williams is Head of Low Carbon Fuels at the UK Department for Transport, where she started in January. Prior to taking up this role she worked as a senior official in energy and climate policy, with a particular focus on renewable energy. She also spent 2017 as interim Managing Director at Sandbag Climate Campaign, focussing on carbon market analysis.

Denis Naberezhnykh – Ricardo

Denis joined Ricardo Energy and Environment as Technical Director Sustainable Transport in 2018. His focus is on vehicle technologies and alternative fuels, including electric vehicles, and connected and automated vehicles.  Prior to joining Ricardo, he worked at Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) for almost 10 years. Since 2016 Denis was the Head of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and Energy at TRL, overseeing the development and execution of TRL ULEV and Energy strategy and ensuring TRL thought leadership in this area. Prior to that he was the Head of ITS and Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Technology. During his time at TRL he led a variety of national and international research and consultancy projects in areas including electric vehicles (EVs), charging infrastructure and wireless power transfer, working closely with a broad range of industry, government and academia stakeholders. Before joining TRL, Denis studied physics and particle physics at the Royal Holloway University of London, graduating with first class Honours degree in 2008.

Tom Holmer – Sustainable Shipping Initiative

Tom Holmer comes from a background of social sustainability, working for the benefit of seafarers and their families with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, as well as conducting consultancy work on sustainability issues in the transport sector with Public World. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of the SSI, delivering continued progress against the objectives of the SSI’s Roadmap to develop a more sustainable shipping industry by 2040, and making sure the organisation remains a strong voice for the shipping industry in ensuring it achieves global sustainability targets.

David Pummell – Velocys

With over 30 years of energy and oil industry experience, David joined Velocys in 2016 from ACAL Energy Ltd, a private equity backed fuel cell technology company developing products for the automotive and stationary power sectors, where he was CEO.  Prior to this, David was CEO of MAPS Technology Ltd, where he successfully commercialized the technology leading to its subsequent acquisition by GE, before becoming CEO of Ceres Power Group plc, a developer of fuel cell micro combined heat and power (CHP) products for the domestic stationary power sector. He began his career at BP plc as a chemical engineer before going on to hold a number of executive positions across the downstream business, including petrochemical manufacturing, supply chain, new business start-ups and a number of senior business and functional management roles during his 22 year tenure.

Fiona Spowers – Riversimple

Fiona is Riversimple’s Communications Director and has over 30 years’ experience in the advertising business, having worked for a number of agencies in London (Y&R, AMV/BBDO, HHCL) and several years in Paris with BDDP, which subsequently became part of TBWA.  She was Head of Strategic Planning for TBWA – across Europe for 9 years and worldwide for a further 10 years.  Among other things, Fiona was responsible for running strategic workshops for Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun and leads all of Riversimple’s communications and media relationships.  She is closely involved in the development of their business and is leading the planning and preparation for their upcoming Beta trial of the Rasa.

Shamit Gaiger – RSSB

Shamit Gaiger is the Director of Strategy at National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), Programme Director; Sector Policy at RSSB, seconded to DFT to lead on the Rail Sector deal as a Deputy Director; Industrial Strategy and a Non-Executive Director and DFT Passenger Services Board.  She has also worked for a major consultancy, advising diversification strategies and sitting on the boards of two foreign companies.  Shamit influenced and developed industry and government policy at the UK and European level including Franchising, Rail Industrial Strategy and CP planning. She led the development of the Rail Sector Skills Delivery Plan and headed the industry’s strategic programmes on, Innovation policy, Skills, Health and Wellbeing and Sustainable Development. Focusing on long term planning in response to the opportunities and challenges presented by the emerging legislation and, macro and micro economics.  She is also guest lecturer on the Imperial College MSc course in sustainable transport and at Lancaster University’s MSc course in system engineering.


Each delegate place costs £50 + VAT and places are strictly limited.

To register: call 020 7539 8000 OR email