Government set to reaffirm commitment to ZEV mandate

The UK Government is expected to reaffirm its commitment to stick to the 2030 phase out of internal combustion engines and will be progressing with its proposed Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate from 2024.

The Government is expected to officially make the announcement today (30th March) following an open letter co-ordinated by FairCharge and signed by leading industry figures this week calling on the Government to take steps to strengthen the EV transition.

The ZEV mandate will ensure that vehicle manufacturers have to sell a certain proportion of electric vehicles (EVs) in the lead up to 2030. Through the ZEV mandate, manufacturers will have ZEV sales converted into ‘certificates’ and be required to hold a certain number at the end of each year in relation to the total number of vehicles which they have sold. Manufacturers that don’t meet their targets will be issued with fines.

The Government has stayed firm and agreed that 22% of car production must be EV by 2024, 80% by 2030 and towards 100% by 2035. The van trajectory is higher than originally suggested with 10% by 2024, 70% in 2030 and towards 100% by 2035.

The Government has confirmed that it is seeking views on the final design of the UK’s ZEV mandate and CO2 emissions regulation for new cars and vans.

Part of the consultation description reads as follows: ”Following the technical consultation on the design of the ZEV mandate for new cars and vans in June 2022 and the green paper on a new road vehicle CO2 regulatory framework in July 2021, the Government are now seeking views on the final proposed regulatory framework.”

This consultation will close on 24th May 2023.

In related news, the Government has today (30th March) released a fresh policy document, Powering Up Britain – Energy Security Plan, which outlines a number of initiatives to deliver green energy as well as ensure energy security and independence.

Quentin Willson, automotive expert and founder of EV campaign group FairCharge, said: “We know the Government has read our many letters and listened to feedback from our meetings with ministers to stay strong on future EV production targets and we’re delighted that they haven’t caved in to vested interests. These targets will send a clear message to the EV sector that UK electrification of road transport is here to stay and will benefit future generations with more highly skilled jobs, greater levels of investment, more charging infrastructure and cleaner urban air. This is a good day for British drivers.

“The Government is absolutely right to stick to its targets to phase out petrol and diesel cars from 2030 – lobbying from the European car industry is a red herring wrapped in self-interest and for the sake of green investment and clean air we strongly welcome this decision.

”The 2030 target is both ambitious and achievable – although what we really need from Government is far sighted policies to ensure all drivers are able to make the switch. This week we called for a strong ZEV mandate and action to address the unfair VAT discrepancy on public charging – these simple steps would go a long way to boost investment confidence, roll out charging infrastructure and bring prices down for consumers. This is vital to ensure electrification in the UK is a success.

”FairCharge is delighted that Government has listened to our appeals for a strong ZEV mandate and confirmed the trajectory consultation figures of 22% for 2024, 80% by 2030 and towards 100% by 2035. Critically the mandate has not been watered down.”

Industry reaction:

Guy Spence, Managing Director of LV= ElectriX, commented: “The requirement for car manufacturers to sell a certain number of electric cars is good news for the British driving community. As ever, the devil is in the detail – it’s essential that the plans are bold enough and there aren’t any loopholes that may jeopardise results. If done right, the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate will help us reach price parity of electric vehicles with petrol and diesel cars sooner. It should also increase the makes and models of electric cars available and will have the longer-term benefit of a more buoyant second-hand market for electric cars, making EVs more affordable across our communities. In parallel, we must also accelerate rollout of reliable charging infrastructure that is easy to use, safe and accessible.”

BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney said: “The ZEV mandate is a critical tool in the UK meeting its ambitious Net Zero targets. The clarity given today will give fleets and motorists the confidence to continue their decarbonisation journey and accelerate the transition to zero emission transport.

“BEV demand is growing – driven by company car fleets – where over 50% of new registrations are electric. We now need supply to keep pace by providing a wider range of vehicles at all price points. The ZEV mandate will help to ensure the right vehicles are coming to the UK, allowing more drivers to make a swift switch to electric.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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