Government proposes that half of all new car sales must be EV by 2028


Government has opened consultation over a proposed electric vehicle (EV) mandate that would demand at least half of all new cars sold in the UK emitted zero exhaust emissions by 2028.

Under the Department for Transport’s (DfT) proposed scheme, car and van manufacturers’ EV sales will be converted into ‘certificates’, which could be traded between brands, with fines levied for OEMs that fail to achieve a specified number of certificates by the end of each year.

Along with the ‘certificate’ scheme, Government will also impose targets for CO2 emissions to regulate non EVs.

A separate certificate system for vans – with no cross trading due to the differing stages and availability of zero emission technology for each vehicle type – will allow a different rate of EV adoption for commercial vehicles, meanwhile.

Government estimates that 2024 – the first year of the proposed EV mandate – could introduce a demand that EVs account for 20% and 30% of new car sales.

According to Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders (SMMT) new car registrations data for 2021, 11.6% of new cars sold in the UK last year were EVs.

Government’s consultation over the proposed EV mandate, which opened yesterday (April 7) and will run until June 10, is encouraging views on the following areas:

  • The level of ZEV uptake (trajectories)
  • How certificates could be allocated and used
  • The banking, borrowing and transfer of ZEV certificates
  • The possibility of derogations and exemptions within the ZEV mandate
  • How to regulate the non-ZEV portion of the fleet

In the latest AM News Show podcast Auto Trader brand director Marc Palmer echoed the sentiments of Auto Trader commercial director, Ian Plummer, who told a fringe event at the COP26 that EVs would remain the ‘preserve of the rich’ without targeted incentives.

SMMT data for March showed that UK new car registrations dipped 14.3% year-on-year – dipping to the lowest March total since 1998 – as EV registrations rose 78.7% to a record 39,315, with Tesla’s premium Model Y topping the sales rankings.

“At the moment there are enough wealthy people with enough interest in EVs to keep that thing turning,” said Palmer.

James Hind, CarwowThe carwow founder and chief executive, James Hind, today welcomed the proposal that more than half of all new cars sold in the UK to be fully electric by 2028.

But Hind said: “We still believe that there is more the car industry can do to train consumer facing dealership staff to help educate and inform prospective new car buyers about the advantages and realities of electric vehicle usage.

“The sales mandates that have been talked about are one way this could be encouraged, but we would also call upon the government to learn from the hugely positive impact that German government funded EV subsidies have had on accelerating electric new car sales in Germany over the last couple of years.

“The RRP of electric cars versus similar internal combustion engine cars is significantly higher, so if the government is serious on making this shift happen then they need to help lower the cost through incentives or subsidies.”

Gerry Keaney, BVRLA Also commenting on the technical consultation, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney described the EV sales mandate is “a vital part of the UK being able to reach its Net Zero targets”.

Keaney added: “Its effective implementation will be the difference between the UK leading the way for decarbonisation or falling behind the rest of Europe.

“The consultative approach taken by the Department for Transport has been commendable and the BVRLA is pleased to see many of the association’s key considerations included within the plans.”

Click here to view the DfT’s Technical consultation on zero emission vehicle mandate policy design consultation document and have your say.


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