Government proposes half of all new car sales will be electric vehicles by 2028

The government has opened a consultation on a proposed mandate for electric vehicles (EVs) that would require at least half of all new cars sold in the UK to be zero tailpipe emissions by 2028.

Under the scheme proposed by the Department for Transport (DfT), sales of electric vehicles from car and van manufacturers will be converted into “certificates”, which could be exchanged between brands, with fines imposed on equipment manufacturers who do not fail to reach a specified number of certificates by the end. of each year.

Alongside the “certificate” system, the government will also impose CO2 emissions targets to regulate non-electric vehicles.

A separate certificate system for vans – without cross-trading due to the different stages and availability of zero-emission technology for each type of vehicle – will in the meantime allow for a different rate of EV adoption for commercial vehicles.

The government estimates that 2024 – the first year of the proposed mandate for electric vehicles – could introduce a demand that electric vehicles account for 20% and 30% of new car sales.

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

The government’s consultation on the proposed EV mandate, which opened yesterday (April 7) and will run until June 10, encourages views in the following areas:

  • The level of adoption of ZEVs (trajectories)
  • How certificates could be assigned and used
  • Banking, borrowing and transferring ZEV certificates
  • The possibility of derogations and exemptions under the ZEV mandate
  • How to regulate the non ZEV part of the fleet

In the latest AM News Show podcast, Auto Trader Brand Manager Marc Palmer echoed the sentiments of Auto Trader Chief Commercial Officer Ian Plummer, who said at a COP26 side event that electric vehicles would remain the “reserve of the rich” without targeted incentives.

SMMT data for March showed UK new car registrations fell 14.3% year-on-year – falling to the lowest March total since 1998 – as electric vehicle registrations rose 78.7% to a record 39,315, with Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model Y leading the sales chart.

“Right now, there are enough wealthy people who care enough about electric vehicles to keep it rolling,” Palmer said.

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

But Hind said: ‘We still believe the auto industry can do more to train dealership staff who deal with consumers to help educate and inform potential new car buyers about the benefits and realities of the use of electric vehicles.

“The sales mandates that have been discussed are one way to encourage this, but we are also asking the government to learn from the hugely positive impact that German government-funded electric vehicle subsidies have had on the market. sales of new electric cars in Germany have accelerated over the past two years.

“The RRP of electric cars compared to similar internal combustion engine cars is significantly higher, so if the government is serious about making this change happen, it must help reduce costs through incentives or subsidies.”

Gerry Keaney, BVRLA Also commenting on the technical consultation, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney described the electric vehicle sales mandate as “critical for the UK to meet its Net Zero targets”.

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

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

Click here to view the DfT’s Technical Consultation on the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate Policy Design Consultation Paper and give your feedback.