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UK plans to move from fossil fuels to battery electric vehicles.


UK plans to move us from fossil fuels to battery electric vehicles. Subscribe to the Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

As automakers are forced to expand their range of more affordable electric vehicles, industry leaders say the goal of building a robust charging infrastructure is just as important.

The UK Government has already published an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy. This has already been covered in previous Articles and Podcast episodes, search Electric Vehicle News Bitesize; New laws to make electric vehicle charging networks 99% reliable.

Motorists would expect to see fewer and fewer new petrol and diesel cars in showrooms each year for the next 10 years as part of new UK plans to force manufacturers to accelerate the switch to electric vehicles.

Ministers support UK plans to introduce mandatory sales targets for electric vehicles from 2024, and have recommended brands increase their market share in battery-powered vehicles to more than half by 2028, before banning combustion engines altogether by 2035. New Diesel and Petrol engines will be excluded from sale which is great news for reducing Toxic exhaust emissions.

These annual sales targets are set in the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate. A new technical report released this month by the Department for Transport which outlines how it works. It states that from the first year of enforcement, 22% of all car registrations must be electric.

By comparison: Only 15.4 percent of new models sold so far this year are fully battery-powered. The plan calls for the market share to increase to 52 percent by 2028 and 80 percent by 2030 — the deadline for the government to ban the sale of poisonous gasoline and diesel models.

Only starting in 2035 would the mandate ban the sale of 100 percent petrol and diesel powered cars. Following the petrol and diesel car ban, hybrid cars that achieve zero emissions in the short term can remain in sales showrooms for another five years, although the scope remains open.

Ministers see the directive as the most effective way to switch to electric vehicles. They also argue that this is the only way for the Treasury to get an accurate picture of the rate of revenue loss from Duty on fossil fuel vehicles, including vehicle excise duty and fuel tax.

It has been widely reported in recent months that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering the introduction of a “road pricing” scheme that would charge electric car drivers for every mile they drive to fill a tax black hole created by a tax on vehicles with internal combustion engines reducing as people make the switch. Members of Parliament hope the mandate from 2024 will further force manufacturers to expand their electric vehicle range, especially at lower prices, as the premium cost of battery models remains one of the biggest barriers to switching for consumers today, though the cost is only 8.3 pence per mile.

While the policy document outlines sales requirements that could be imposed on automakers, it does not address penalties for failing to meet those requirements. Earlier, the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy said the government could impose financial penalties on manufacturers that fail to meet annual Electric Vehicle sales targets.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which represents British car makers, describes the plan for a ZEV mandate as the “most ambitious of any major market in the world” but said it can only succeed if there is a robust charging infrastructure to support the proposed Electric Vehicle growth. The trade body said regulation “must encourage consumers to purchase, not just compel manufacturers to produce”.

In a previous statement the SMMT stated that it was concerned that Demand is outstripping Supply.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Any mandate must be pragmatic, flexible and reflective of every manufacturer’s long-term commitment. It must also avoid being so complex and prescriptive that it becomes a straitjacket for the market and UK manufacturing investment.

“The danger is that consumers will lack the incentive to purchase these new vehicles – vehicles that will remain more expensive than traditional petrol and diesel cars for a number of years to come – in the quantities needed, keeping their older, more polluting vehicles for even longer, thereby undermining the carbon savings this regulation seeks to deliver.”

He added that UK plans to place mandates on car makers can only succeed if they are “matched with consumer incentives” and “binding targets for infrastructure provision”. In March, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that 59 per cent of new car sales would be electric by 2027, double the level it forecast in October.

All-electric vehicles accounted for just over a tenth (11.6%) of all UK registrations last year. This is an increase of 5 percentage points from the previous 12 months, and the market share of pure electric vehicles has increased to more than one in six newly registered vehicles so far this year.

Proof that things are already heading in the right direction anyway.

However, some car companies are better at achieving these goals than others. Mainstream brands such as Fiat, Ford, Mercedes, Mini, Peugeot and Volvo have committed to becoming pure electric carmakers by 2030, while Citroen, Jaguar and Vauxhall are earlier, meaning they should have enough models to meet demands from the government. But other manufacturers have yet to approve the date they intend to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles despite the Toxic chemicals in their exhaust gases.

Many of these brands are major players in the industry, such as Toyota, which currently relies on hybrid vehicles and has only one all-electric model in its existing lineup. While Jaguar has said it will become an all-electric luxury car brand by 2025, sister brand Land Rover won’t release its first all-electric model until 2024, a year when the directive is expected to be launched, with 22% of sales having to be pure electric.

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