The Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, ten years earlier than initially planned. However, the Government will allow the sale of 'hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035’.
Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, has commented.
Franchised retailers play a crucial role in the transition to EVs and they have been making huge efforts to encourage the uptake of zero-emission vehicles, engaging with consumers and informing them about the benefits of owning an EV.
The new deadline is challenging and despite the continued improvement to the charging infrastructure, there remain a number of practical barriers to the uptake of EVs. It is encouraging that hybrids are being given a later phase-out date during this transition as they represent an important steppingstone technology for many motorists who are interested in buying an electric vehicle, but do not yet feel able to go fully electric.
The current range of Government-led purchase incentives has been effective in stimulating consumer demand and retailers continue to work hard to improve public perception, as initiatives like our Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme demonstrate. Strong incentives are key to ensuring the UK remains a strong consumer market for electric cars as the market begins to mature. We have to avoid a situation where the least well-off car drivers are deterred from buying a new car when the time comes to replace their old one.
We will be liaising with the Government and look forward to further details on how it plans to incentivise consumers and support businesses.