Yesterday, the government introduced the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, the world’s most ambitious regulatory framework for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
This sets the percentage of new zero-emission cars that manufacturers must produce each year until 2030, following the Prime Minister’s decision to postpone the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.
The mandate establishes annual minimum targets, starting with the requirement that 22% of new cars sold in 2024 must be zero-emission, as originally proposed.
Then, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in the UK must be zero-emission by 2030, increasing to 100% by 2035.
The 2035 sales end date aligns the UK with other major global economies, including France, Germany, Sweden, and Canada.
This move provides certainty for manufacturers and helps families transition to electromobility by giving more time for the second-hand electric vehicle market to grow and charging infrastructure to expand nationwide. The government’s goal is to reach 300,000 charging points by 2030.
The country is making progress in its ambition to gradually phase out new fossil fuel-powered cars, supported by over £2 billion in government investment.
The latest industry figures show that 20% of new cars sold in August had zero emissions, and there are now 48,100 public charging points, in addition to home charging points where most charging takes place.
It’s worth noting that the UK’s ambition has already spurred investments in gigafactories and EV manufacturing, with over £6 billion in private sector charging point funding also ready to be released.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said, “The path to zero-emission vehicles announced ensures that the journey there is provided, pragmatic, and realistic for families. Our mandate provides certainty for manufacturers, benefits drivers by giving them more choices, and helps grow the economy by creating skilled jobs.”
“We’re also making it easier than ever to own an electric vehicle, from reaching record levels of charging points to providing tax breaks for electric vehicle owners,” he added.
The government has also introduced several plans to reduce the upfront and operating costs of owning an EV.
This includes a grant for plug-in vans of up to £2,500 for small units and £5,000 for large units until at least 2025, and a £350 discount on the cost of home charging points for people living in flats.
Additionally, electric cars are cheaper to maintain than petrol and diesel cars, with research showing that electric car maintenance is around £150 cheaper per year.
The used car market also continues to grow. In the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, sales of used battery electric vehicles increased by 57%, according to Reuters.