The government plans to ban the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars entirely by 2030.
A new DfT advisory has identified proposals for mandatory sales targets in the lead up to a complete ban.
Plans to mandate zero-emissions vehicles were first announced in October 2021 as part of the government’s “net zero” strategy.
A new technical advisory from the DfT outlines the proposed timeline, which would see automakers given legally binding targets from 2024 onwards.
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Last year, 12 percent of all new car registrations were zero-emissions vehicles, even though the combustion engine/EV varies for each manufacturer.
The UK’s official body for the car industry, the Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) expects rapid growth in uptake of electric vehicles to continue, reaching 16 per cent market share this year and 18 per cent in 2023.
The DfT paper said that establishing a clear legal mandate for sales would provide market certainty, allowing other government departments to plan for a switch to electric vehicles.
This includes the Treasury, which is set to lose billions in fuel surcharges and the auto tax as it stands.
The paper notes that “the mandate will give certainty about the minimum proportion of zero-emission vehicles we expect to supply even though consumer demand may naturally exceed this level.
“The mandate will provide assurance that we will meet our phase-out deadlines and carbon commitments.”
Mike Howes, CEO of SMMT, said the ZEV authorization proposals were “the most ambitious in any major market in the world” and cautioned that the government needed to make sure regulations encourage customers to buy electric vehicles, not just force manufacturers to produce them.
“The risk is that consumers will lack the incentive to buy these new vehicles – vehicles that will remain more expensive than conventional petrol and diesel cars for a number of years to come – in the required quantities, keeping the oldest and most polluting,” he said. compounds for longer and thus undermine the carbon savings that these regulations seek.
“Market transformation has been shown to work faster when mandates match incentives, and for electrification of cars we also need equal and binding targets for infrastructure provision.”
He added that any mandate should be “practical and flexible” to avoid becoming a “vest” for the market.
The proposals outline different options for how authorization should work, including issuing manufacturers “certifications” for each ZEV.
This can either be a simple single certification for every ZEV produced or it can be weighted to reward vehicles that are cheaper, lighter, more energy efficient, have longer range, or offer better battery/drive system warranties.