“We are pleased that government has answered our calls to provide further clarity on how it plans to reach its Net-Zero targets and the ban of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and support the transition to electric vehicles. Whilst it is positive to see Government addressing key issues towards adoption, NFDA is concerned that more still needs to be done to achieve these ambitious net-zero targets, especially through further stimulating consumer demand in EVs”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK.

On Thursday 30 March 2023, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary for Energy Security Secretary and Net Zero, announced his ‘Powering up Britain’ strategy, which brings together an Energy Security Plan and Net Zero Growth Plan, with a critical focus towards increasing UK clean energy, including electricity, wind, solar and nuclear.

For the automotive retailing sector, it is particularly pleasing to see a commitment to invest £380.8m into charging infrastructure, a prominent barrier stopping many UK motorists from switching to an electric vehicle.

Sue Robinson added: "An efficient charging infrastructure is crucial towards boosting consumer confidence and driving transport decarbonisation. NFDA will be engaging with the relevant Government departments to encourage a structured approach towards improving the UK charging network”.

Following the announcement, government has also provided further information regarding its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, ensuring manufacturers are producing a sufficient level of electric vehicles from 01 January 2024. The clarity given today will give dealers and motorists greater confidence to continue their decarbonisation journey and accelerate the transition to zero-emission transport.

Sue Robinson continued: “With growing interest and demand from motorists for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) it is encouraging to see more focus rightly shifting towards supply, ensuring more products are entering the UK market with a ZEV mandate.

“Our franchised dealers exist as vital information hubs for motorists interested in electric vehicles and NFDA’s Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme continues to play a key role in supporting this. With more electric vehicles entering the market, it is now more important than ever to become EVA accredited and ensure customers know your dealership is at the forefront of electric vehicle retail.”