UK: While ICE ban is pushed back, EV sales targets remain
From January, carmakers in the UK must ensure that at least 22 per cent of its vehicles sold are locally emission-free. The quota will increase to 80 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035. The so-called ‘ZEV Mandate‘ is not new, as it was decided in May. New – and interesting – is that the government will uphold it despite pushing back the sales ban of cars with internal combustion engines.
Naturally, carmakers are calling for clarity. Because, as things stand now, they would have to pay a fine of 15,000 pounds per vehicle if they fail to meet the target. Alternatively, they could purchase a surplus credit from a company that exceeded its target.
The problem: As one unnamed carmaker told the BBC, “forcing firms to hit the target on electric vehicle sales, while pushing back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars, would make it harder for firms to sell the electric ones.”
Manufacturers thus call for incentives to make electric vehicles more attractive to customers. Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers, told The Guardian that the industry needs “a package of attractive incentives and measures to accelerate charging infrastructure to give consumers the confidence to switch.” However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has yet to announce any such plans.
In his speech on climate change targets, Sunak said that “the vast majority of cars sold will be electric” by 2030, that EV charging infrastructure needs to be expanded, and that local manufacturers need to be strengthened for the UK not to rely on more affordable EVs from China. How he, his government or the car industry will reach that target remains unclear.
So, with 2024 just around the corner, there remains some confusion on the road the UK has taken.