UK government pledges world-leading electric car targets

UK government pledges world-leading electric car targets

Transport & Environment — 2023-03-30

Automotive Industry

The government has today proposed measures for the UK’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, in an important step towards putting the phase out of petrol and diesel cars into law. T&E welcomes this world-leading regulation, and applauds the ambition the Government has shown. This will provide certainty to the UK’s automotive sector and consumers, and will reduce the UK’s reliance on foreign oil. However, the government’s failure to increase the ambition of its proposed car targets means the regulation will be weaker than it should have been, says T&E.

The ZEV mandate will set annual sales targets for manufacturers from 2024 to 2030, paving the way for all new car and van sales to be zero emission by 2035. In 2024, these targets will be 22% for cars and 10% for vans. These targets will be increased to 80% and 70% in 2030 respectively.

The proposed trajectory for cars merely follows conservative estimates of what the market will do in a business-as-usual scenario. T&E recommends targets of at least 33% in 2024 to set the UK on an ambitious pathway for battery electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the proposed van targets still fall short of the minimum 15% that should be expected for 2024 and 80% in 2030.

Richard Hebditch, director of T&E UK, said: “The ZEV mandate sets a clear path for 100% zero emission sales by 2035, providing much-needed certainty for consumers and industry. The question is no longer whether the internal combustion engine’s days are numbered, but how fast we get there.