Government announces 80% ZEV mandate by 2030

The Government has announced the percentage of new zero emission cars (ZEV) which manufacturers are required to produce each year up to 2030, following the Prime Minister’s decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars to 2035. 

The zero emission vehicle mandate will require 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030, increasing to 100% by 2035. Crucially, it also keeps the original proposal for 22% of new cars sold next year to be EV and 10% for vans, but the next sales targets for electric vans have been revised for 2025 and 2026.

It follows concern that the government might have been about to roll back the near targets, including next year’s mandate, which would put a £16bn saving at risk.

The used car market also continues to grow, providing more affordable options for drivers. In the first quarter of 2023, compared with the same period in 2022, used battery electric vehicle sales rose by 57%.

The government in its statement admitted that “some manufacturers already plan to reach 100% sooner” than the new 2035 cut-off. Latest industry figures show 20% of new cars sold in August were zero emission, and there are now 48,100 public chargepoints, in addition to chargepoints installed in homes where most charging takes place, the government said.

Despite pushing back the 2030 goal due to what it said were cost concerns, in its ZEV mandate statement it admitted EVs were “cheaper to run than petrol and diesel cars, with research showing that electric cars are around £150 cheaper to maintain a year.”

Responding to the changes, Matthew Adams, Transport Policy Manager at The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, said: “Today’s response by the Government is a welcome one, giving clarity on the future of the EV market. I am pleased to see that the Government have listened to us and our members regarding the importance of the sales targets and the need for extra measures for van manufacturing. We also understand the reduction in the range for ZEV’s which will play a role in protecting the production of lighter BEVs with smaller ranges and are further pleased to see that a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Zero Emission Transition Group will be established to provide further input and guidance into the future of electrification of Wheelchair accessible vehicles.

“Overall, today is a good day for the sector providing much needed certainty after a week of uncertainty caused by the Government’s revisions to net zero targets last week. We will continue working with our members and Government to ensure that the ZEV mandate remains one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation by any Government and that future EV policy remains consistent in its purpose to decarbonise the UK as quickly as is functional and allow the EV sector to reach its full potential.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Our mandate provides certainty for manufacturers, benefits drivers by providing more options, and helps grow the economy by creating skilled jobs. We are also making it easier than ever to own an electric vehicle, from reaching record levels of chargepoints to providing tax relief for EV owners.”

Jakob Pfaudler, AA CEO, said: “Today’s announcement brings welcome clarity to help support investment in ZEVs and associated technologies and industries. Over time, and as part of a wider set of policies, it will help the UK’s motorists manage the transition and the AA will be working to give confidence to drivers during this period.”

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT): “We welcome the clarity the mandate’s publication provides for the next six years and the flexibilities it contains to support pragmatic, equitable delivery across this diverse sector. Manufacturers offer a vast range of zero emission vehicles, but demand must also match supply – that means making ZEVs affordable by incentivising drivers to make the switch now and delivering the infrastructure to meet consumer expectations.”

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