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Industry is reacting to government’s ZEV mandate. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE to hear more!

The government has launched consultations on its zero-emission vehicle mandate scheme, which will force manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of electric vehicles before phasing out petrol and diesel by 2030.

The move has huge implications for the fleet and rental industry, with many welcoming the plans and saying they bring much-needed clarity.

Jon Lawes, managing director of Novuna Vehicle Solutions, said: “Today’s confirmation that the Government is committed to introducing a zero emission vehicle mandate next year, accompanied with its reaffirmed commitment to cease the sale of new ICE vehicles by 2030, provides welcome clarity for the sector.

“Coupled with the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding announcement, we hope the formalisation of the ZEV mandate will be the catalyst to accelerate investment required to deliver the rollout of sufficient public charge points across the UK which is failing to keep pace with Electric Vehicle adoption.

“As Electric Vehicle registrations grow at an exponential rate, we cannot overlook the fact that the UK is significantly under-delivering on Electric Vehicle infrastructure and that there is urgently more work to be done on the road to net zero.”

Nick Williams, transport managing director at Lloyds Banking Group, parent company of Lex Autolease, called the Government’s commitment to the ZEV mandate a “bold step forward”, sending a clear message to both industry and drivers that the future of motoring is electric.

He added: “With nine months to go until it comes into force, the new ZEV mandate will increase the availability of electric vehicles and create greater competition in the market, providing drivers and businesses with more choice.

“Importantly, the mandate will boost the used car market, making EVs more affordable and accessible, while driving investment in the UK.”

Ian Hughes, CEO of the corporate division at Zenith, said measures outlined by the Government should ultimately give fleets the confidence to invest in the transition to EVs.

“The zero emission vehicle mandate in particular brings assurances on the supply of vehicles and this is what fleet operators need to be able to set their own ambitious Electric Vehicle transition targets,” he added.

“This move, coupled with the LEVI funding for local authorities to install chargepoints and funding for an increased number of on street charging facilities, will make it easier for all drivers to switch to an Electric Vehicle, regardless of whether they have access to home charging.

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“We’re hopeful that we will soon see the planned legislation that will regulate the provision of public charging, as this will pick up on key items that are important to drivers, such as reliability, ease of payment and increased accessibility to chargers.”

Andrew Wescott, director of sustainability and regulation at Addison Lee: said: “The launch of the ZEV mandate is an important signal to the entire Electric Vehicle market in the UK.

“We know that more charging infrastructure is required and, if properly implemented, the ZEV mandate will give charge point operators the confidence to invest in the charging network, and fleet operators the ability to more readily shift to fully electric vehicles.

He continued: “The current lack of charging infrastructure and high energy prices are challenging the adoption of EVs by fleets and professional drivers.

“While today marks an important step by Government, it’s critical that charge point operators continue to work with private companies, such as ourselves, and the public sector to rapidly accelerate the rollout of affordable Electric Vehicle charging across the network.”

Tanya Sinclair, senior director for public policy in Europe for ChargePoint, said: “The single biggest, revenue-neutral measure the Government can implement is the ZEV Mandate.

“An ambitious UK ZEV mandate will guarantee numbers of EVs on the road from 2024, and therefore provide a clear signal to infrastructure investors to scale up charge point roll out and de-risk investments.

“Independent analysis has repeatedly shown that the only way we will mitigate the climate impact of road transport emissions is through electrification.

“We look forward to working with the Government to build a robust ZEV mandate to ensure that it is introduced as quickly as possible following the consultation period.”

Quentin Willson, automotive founder of electric vehicle campaign group FairCharge, said: “The Government is absolutely right to stick to its targets to phase out petrol and diesel cars from 2030 – lobbying from the European car industry is a red herring wrapped in self-interest and for the sake of green investment and clean air we strongly welcome this decision.

“The 2030 target is both ambitious and achievable – although what we really need from Government is far sighted policies to ensure all drivers are able to make the switch.”

He continued: “FairCharge is delighted that Government has listened to our appeals for a strong ZEV mandate and confirmed the trajectory consultation figures of 22% for 2024, 80% by 2030 and towards 100% by 2035.

“Critically, the mandate has not been watered down.”

EVA England also welcomed the announcement of the ZEV Mandate. CEO of EVA England, James Court, said: “Across the world, governments are preparing for the banning of the internal combustion engine, and for the UK to be the first major economy to introduce legislation shows that the UK plans to be a leader in this area and not be left behind.

“This is vital legislation that gives certainty to car manufacturers, charge point operators, and most crucially to drivers.

“There was a risk that the UK could have become a secondary market, the dumping ground for polluting cars. But this legislation will mean not only having a healthier place to live, but also keeps the hope alive of a strong, attractive, and thriving UK car manufacturing base.

“The onus is now on industry and Government to push forward with the much-needed infrastructure, and we are delighted with the additional £470 million funding for local schemes also announced today which should ramp up the installation of charge points in the coming years.”

Ben Nelmes, CEO of green motoring consultancy New AutoMotive, said:“The Government’s latest electric vehicle proposals are a further step toward a net zero Britain, targeting the car and van emissions that account for almost 20% of the country’s total emissions output.

“It will make electric vehicles more accessible, saving motorists around £1.93 billion in running costs, and provide green British businesses with the certainty they need to grow.

“It is positive that the government has accepted our recommendation and is targeting a faster switch to electric vans, but ministers must make sure that there are no loopholes in the scheme that allow some manufacturers to avoid doing their fair share.”

Mike Todd, CEO of Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “There’s a growing ambition for consumers and businesses to make more environmentally friendly decisions, propelling electric vehicles into the spotlight.

“A broader range of Electric Vehicle models means more varied price points, range capabilities and vehicle features.

“More choice opens up more entry points for consumers, a cause for optimism that Electric Vehicle adoption will continue to accelerate.

“However, uptake depends on more than vehicle availability alone. As a collective, the automotive industry needs to help customers make the transition to their first Electric Vehicle, and equip them with the knowledge they need to make that journey confidently.

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“That encompasses all that goes with Electric Vehicle ownership: home charging, provision of public charging, trip planning, and vehicle value retention.”

Kim Royds, Electric Vehicle director at British Gas, said that the ZEV mandate announcement was a statement of intent to boost widespread uptake of EVs as the UK continues to fly the flag for the electrification of transport.

“Today’s consultation announcement reaffirms the government’s commitment to introducing the mandate next year,” he added.

“But the devil remains in the detail, with only nine months to go until it comes into force drivers and manufacturers need clarity to understand how the scheme will work.”

Thom Groot, CEO of The Electric Car Scheme, says he is “gravely concerned” that the essential tools for achieving this remain out for consultation or absent.

“Transport is our biggest source of emissions and new fossil fuel cars are still outselling electric ones – we can’t just consult forever,” he said.

“The auto industry needs those ZEV mandates for 2024 onwards locked in now, not subject to change on the whim of a minister, so it can plan supply accordingly.

“Putting this issue out for yet another consultation just adds to uncertainty and lets car companies delay crucial decisions for next year’s fleet.

“My company has huge demand from people desperate to get into an Electric Vehicle who are forced to wait because supply is low – a guaranteed amount of supply would help a lot.”

“We’re also concerned that the Government has not taken this opportunity to fix the ‘pavement tax’ which makes charging an Electric Vehicle outside the home significantly more expensive, with the power liable for four times as much tax.”

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Industry is reacting to government's ZEV mandate.