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Government publish new Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate

A week after scrapping the idea that new cars should be emission-free by 2030, the government have specified the degree to which they have watered-down the original mandate.

We already knew that 2035 was now the cut-off date for the sale of new ICE vehicles but the increments by which we get there have now been announced. So, by 2030, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain must be zero emission.

Targets are laid out, year by year, beginning in 2024 when 22% of new cars should be zero emission and from then:

2025: 28%
2026: 33%
2027: 38%
2028: 52%
2029: 66%
2030: 80%
2031: 84%*
2032: 88%* 
2033: 92%*
2034: 96%* 
2035: 100%*

(*Target will be set out in future legislation later in the decade)

The results of the final consultation indicate that of those that did not support the proposed trajectory, many more felt that the targets were too weak than felt that they were too strong. Several stated that the targets should be toughened to match the recommendations made by the Climate Change Committee.

For vans, the original trajectory (9% in 2024, raising to 52% in 2030) was deemed to be unambitious by the majority of respondents at the time, so the decision was taken to increase that trajectory in line with the feedback. Targets will now start at 10% next year, growing to 70% in 2030.

The final consultation received 146 responses in total, 46 from private individuals and the remainder from a variety of organisations including: vehicle manufacturers, trade associations, chargepoint/infrastructure operators, fleet operators and delivery companies

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: ‘With less than 100 days to go, manufacturers finally have clarity on what they are required to sell next year and up to 2030. The industry is investing billions in decarbonisation and recognises the importance of this mechanism as the single most important measure to deliver net zero. Delivering the mandate will challenge the industry, despite the flexibilities now included to support pragmatic, equitable delivery given this diverse sector.

‘It is worth noting the mandate means the UK still retains the most ambitious transition timeline of any major market but without any private consumer incentives. Furthermore, the lack of a post-2030 regulatory framework, including a definition as to the vehicles eligible for sale from 2030 to 2035, creates investment uncertainty.

‘Manufacturers offer a vast range of zero emission vehicles, but demand must also match supply. We need a buoyant market that delivers fleet renewal at scale, ensures a vibrant used EV market and gives consumers confidence. This means an attractive package of fiscal and other incentives, mandated infrastructure targets and a consistent message that encourages drivers to switch now.’

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