The UK government has set out the percentage of new zero-emission cars manufacturers will be required to produce each year up to 2030.
The announcement follows British Prime Minister Risihi Sunak’s decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 to 2035.
The zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate – billed as “the most ambitious regulatory framework for the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) in the world” – requires 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030, increasing to 100% by 2035.
It also sets minimum annual targets, starting with a requirement for 22% of new cars sold in 2024 to be zero emission, as originally proposed, before rising each year up to 100% by 2035.
The 2035 end of sale date puts the UK in line with other major global economies, including France, Germany, Sweden and Canada.
Latest industry figures show 20% of new cars sold in August were zero emission and there are now 48,100 public chargepoints, which is a 43% increase on last year.
According to UK transport secretary Mark Harper, the mandate provides certainty for manufacturers and will help families make the switch to electric by providing more time for the second-hand EV market to grow and provides investors with confidence to invest in charging infrastructure across the country.
Reacting to the announcement, Richard Hebditch, UK director of Transport & Environment, and a CiTTi Awards 2023 judge, said: “Last week’s announcement pushing back the phase-out dates for new petrol and diesel cars could have blown a huge hole in our carbon budgets.
“But its impact is now limited by a mandate that squeezes sales every year. Given the upfront costs of electric cars won’t be any higher than petrol cars in 2030, you’ve got to ask what the point of last week’s announcement actually was.”
Several schemes to lower the upfront and running costs of owning an EV were also announced as part of the mandate.
These includes a plug-in van grant of up to £2,500 for small vans and £5,000 for large vans until at least 2025 and £350 off the cost of homeplace chargepoints for people living in flats.
Other measures announced include a trading scheme for automotive manufacturers to bank compliance in years when they exceed annual targets for use in future years or trade them with other OEMs that have fallen short.
In the first year, car manufacturers can borrow for up to 75% of their annual target, falling to 25% in 2026, to support them in the early stages.
Recent investments by major automotive manufacturers include BMW’s multimillion-pound revamp of its Oxford plant, which will secure 4,000 jobs and strengthen the EV supply chain.
Meanwhile, Tata has confirmed £4bn to build a new gigafactory in the UK, and £1bn has been promised by Nissan and AESC to create an EV manufacturing hub in Sunderland.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “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.”
The ZEV mandate is a devolved policy developed with the Scottish government, Welsh government and Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure.
Applications recently opened for the first round of the government’s £381m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which is designed to support the installation of tens of thousands of new chargers across the country.
This is in addition to number of significant private investments, with the UK now home to Europe’s largest EV charging site in Birmingham and more than £6bn committed by ChargeUK members to double the UK’s charging network by the end of this year.
The government has set a target of 300,000 chargepoints by 2030. For this expectation to be met, chargepoint deployment needs to grow at around 30% per year, according to a recent report from the National Infrastructure Commission.
Innovations and achievements in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure will be highlighted and celebrated at the second annual CiTTi Awards on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector – and to book your table today!