A consistent, joint approach by Government, industry and key stakeholders is vital to ensure a gradual and stable uptake of low emission vehicles. Recent announcements and headlines create confusion and do not support the efforts the automotive industry is making to meet consumers’ needs.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has published a report which considers Government’s 2040 targets for zero-emission cars ‘vague and unambitious’. The MPs suggest that the Government should bring forward a precise target for new sales of cars and vans to be zero emission by 2032. Positively, the report recommends that Government and business should ‘work together to develop a clearer joint plan’.

Last week, the Government announced that from 9 November, grants for new plug-in hybrids will be scrapped and grants on pure electric cars will be cut from £4,500 to £3,500.

Following the written evidence previously submitted in response to the BEIS Committee's enquiry into electric vehicles, NFDA Chairman Mark Squires responded to the Committee's questions on the issue back in February.

The report acknowledges that the Government is giving ‘little clarity or incentive to industry or the consumer to invest in electric cars’ and that our ‘EV charging infrastructure is simply not fit for purpose’.

NFDA supports the calls for further investments into the development of low and zero emission vehicles alongside clearer guidelines to help businesses and consumers during this phase of transition. However, the recent cut in plug-in grants for hybrids and electric vehicles has created further confusion.

The retail automotive industry is working on a number of different fronts to support consumer confidence, help motorists find cars that suit their needs and favour the switch to low emission vehicles.

NFDA calls on the Government to continue to engage with us.