05 Mar 2024

ZEV Mandate: Sector responds

80% of new cars sold by 2030, and 70% of vans, will be required to be zero-emission by 2030, the government has confirmed via the publication of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate today (Thursday 28 September).

The announcement comes just over a week after the Prime Minister announced that the overall ICE ban was being rolled back from 2030 to 2035. In the short term, the Mandate means 22% of new cars sold in 2024 to be zero emission, increasing each year to 2035 at which point the requirement will be 100%.

Commenting on the announcement, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “The path to zero emission vehicles announced today makes sure the route to get there is proportionate, pragmatic and realistic for families. 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.”

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes observed: “With less than 100 days to go, manufacturers finally have clarity on what they are required to sell next year and up to 2030. The industry is investing billions in decarbonisation and recognises the importance of this mechanism as the single most important measure to deliver net zero. Delivering the mandate will challenge the industry, despite the flexibilities now included to support pragmatic, equitable delivery given this diverse sector.

“It is worth noting the mandate means the UK still retains the most ambitious transition timeline of any major market but without any private consumer incentives. Furthermore, the lack of a post-2030 regulatory framework creates investment uncertainty.

“Manufacturers offer a vast range of zero emission vehicles, but demand must also match supply. We need a buoyant market that delivers fleet renewal at scale, ensures a vibrant used EV market and gives consumers confidence. This means an attractive package of fiscal and other incentives, mandated infrastructure targets and a consistent message that encourages drivers to switch now.”

AA CEO Jakob Pfaudler said: “Our customers want to see both Government action and realism in the move to electric vehicles as part of an ambitious drive to net zero. This means having certainty and a combination of the right information, infrastructure and incentives available to them. 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.”

NFDA Chief Executive Sue Robinson said car dealers have questions about the move: “Government’s decision today to keep the electric vehicle sales targets for cars in the ZEV mandate unchanged generates concern amongst franchised dealers. These ambitious registration targets will create a difficult trading environment in conjunction with the recent decision to push back the ban of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

“As the consumer facing end of the industry, franchised dealers will have to continue to push for electric vehicles to meet these targets whilst the recent five-year delay will likely damage consumers demand for electric vehicles. To adopt a pragmatic approach to net-zero targets, NFDA strongly urges the government to introduce attractive incentives to make electric vehicles more accessible for less-affluent motorists.”

Various Government grants are also available, as David Martell, Chief Executive of Andersen EV, noted: “Retaining the £350 grant to reduce cut the cost of homeplace charge points for those living in flats is a welcome move, as it could help drive uptake of EVs among the many thousands of private buyers who do not benefit from the significant EV incentives available to fleet customers. It is increasingly clear that such incentives will be essential to create the demand necessary to help carmakers meet the government’s new EV sales targets.”