Any ZEV mandate change puts £16.5bn savings at stake

Ahead of news that the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate is about to be published, new analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has found that a saving to motorists of £16.5bn is at stake.

The mandate will require an increasing proportion of cars sold by manufacturers to be EVs, which will speed up the growth of the second-hand EV market.

Reports in the Times suggested that government officials met major manufacturers on Monday to reiterate that the ZEV goals would remain in place, despite last week’s watering down of the 2030 ban on the sale of new ICE vehicles.

With more than 80% of vehicles sold in the UK being secondhand, the market is vital if millions of households are to access savings that come from EV ownership and transition rapidly.

Second-hand EVs are now retailing at just slightly higher prices than petrol and diesel equivalents. For example, a four-year-old electric Nissan Leaf can be bought for £12,999, compared to a petrol Nissan Juke for £11,050. But EVs are much cheaper to refuel and run, with the average used EV saving an owner around £1200 a year in total ownership costs, compared to an equivalent petrol car.

The extra EVs made available on the second-hand market through the introduction of a ZEV mandate will save UK drivers an extra £16.5bn in motoring costs by 2047, such an analysis suggests.

Commenting on the findings, Colin Walker, Head of Transport at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “If you’re one of vast majority of drivers who buys second-hand and is looking to buy in a few years’ time, without a strong ZEV mandate you simply might not be able to get your hands on a second-hand EV that would be cheaper to run and own. A slow-down on this stuff would push up the cost of living for hard working families who want a cheaper way to drive.

“After the chaos of the last few days with the PM’s policy U-turns, any further changes from Government would have simply further shaken investor confidence and push car makers to invest in places like the US that are incentivising investment.”

Quentin Willson, founder of campaign group FairCharge, which is calling for a reduction in VAT on public car chargers to 5% from 20%, said: “Certainty on the ZEV mandate is long overdue and gives car makers some reassurance on future industrial policy after the almost universal dismay at last week’s surprising 2030 U-turn. The industry is already geared up for 2030 with model cycles planned and budgeted for, so consumers will still have access to a strong supply of new and used EVs.

“The savings for EV drivers will add up to many billions with up to 40% lower maintenance costs and much smaller fuel bills, charging at home on low night time electricity tariffs. What we need now, is a reduction in VAT on public charging from 20% to 5%. That symbolic cut would cost The Treasury very little – circa £40 million at current rates of adoption – and send a clear message that this Government really is on the side of all drivers.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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