UK confirms ZEV mandate for carmakers

Starting in January, car manufacturers must meet a target of at least 22 per cent of zero-emission vehicles sold - or pay a fine. The quota will gradually increase to 100 per cent by 2035.

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The UK government officially announced that it is sticking to previously defined EV targets for the coming years – despite having pushed back a ban on ICE vehicles by five years to 2035. The latter will thus have little to no impact on the industry.

“The ZEV mandate scheme’s function is unchanged. Each year, vehicle manufacturers are set a target as a percentage of their total annual sales that must be zero emission,” the UK government explains. As detailed in a previous article, carmakers in the UK must ensure that – starting in January – at least 22 per cent of their cars sold are locally emission-free. For vans, there is a target of ten per cent. The quota will increase to 80 per cent for cars and 70 per cent for new vans by 2030. By 2035, all new vehicles sold must be electric.

Manufacturers who do not meet the target must either pay a fine or buy “ZEV allowances” from carmakers that exceed their target. It will cost carmakers 15,000 pounds per ZEV allowance for cars. For vans, the fine was reduced to 9,000 pounds in 2024, but will rise to 18,000 pounds for the remaining years that the regulation is in place. “The measures give the wide range of manufacturers flexibility through a trading scheme, enabling them to bank compliance in years when they exceed annual targets for use in future years,” the government details.

“The path to zero emission vehicles announced today makes sure the route to get there is proportionate, pragmatic and realistic for families,” says Transport Secretary Mark Harper. “Our mandate provides certainty for manufacturers, benefits drivers by providing more options and helps grow the economy by creating skilled jobs.”

Following the announcement of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week that the country would be moving the 2030 ban on non-hybrid fossil-fuel models to 2035, some manufacturers had warned that it would create too much uncertainty for the industry.

“With less than 100 days to go, manufacturers finally have clarity on what they are required to sell next year and up to 2030,” Mike Hawes, CEO of the car industry group the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said in a statement.

However, he also noted that the country still lacks consumer incentives to make electric vehicles more attractive to consumers. On the other hand, the government hopes that by pushing back the ICE sales ban while upholding the ZEV mandate, “the used car market also continues to grow, providing more affordable options for drivers.”, (regulation details)


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