The UK Government’s final consultation for the proposed Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate has now closed, and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has submitted its response on behalf of automotive retailers.

With the UK Government’s commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, a proposal for a ZEV mandate that requires manufacturers to produce a minimum percentage of zero emission cars from 2024 is designed to legally bind car production to their climate change commitments.

The proposed minimum ZEV target trajectory for new cars sold begins at 22% in 2024, increasing to 80% in 2030 and reaching 100% in 2035. The proposed minimum ZEV target trajectory for new vans sold begins at 10% in 2024 and reaches 70% in 2030 on the way to 100% in 2035.

In their consultation response, NFDA argues, but not exclusively, that:

  • A regulatory framework for the whole of the UK should understand the disparities by regions, fundamentally the challenged and underdeveloped infrastructure for EV adoption within Northern Ireland.
  • That year-on-year targets to be met annually is essential to meet 2030 deadlines, but the proposed trajectories are expecting too much, too early.
  • Electric van trajectories are also ahead of current trends and technologies, experiencing some demand-side headwinds and will need more time than cars for widespread adoption.
  • NFDA has suggested to government changes to both car and van ZEV trajectories, reflecting a more balanced incremental increase.
  • The removal of incentives like the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) and the introduction of VED for EVs in 2025 is hurting the demand for electric vehicles. Continued government support is needed to stimulate demand in the EV market and promote widespread EV adoption.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK, comments on the ZEV Mandate and NFDA’s consultation response:

“Government’s ambitious targets for net-zero has been acknowledged and supported by the automotive retailing sector since its introduction. Franchised retailers understand the importance of acting against climate change and have invested heavily in driving the electrification of the vehicle parc, helping the EV market share grow and EV sales increase.

“The ZEV Mandate is another proposal that will help accelerate this transition, placing more emphasis on manufacturers to produce more electric vehicles. NFDA has thoroughly explored all avenues for the proposed ZEV Mandate and ultimately believes it is a positive initiative to ensure manufacturers are matching the efforts and investments retailers have made, and continue to make, to facilitate the transition to net-zero and meet consumer demand. Whilst NFDA supports the proposal, we would urge government to listen to the industry’s trade body to understand the full range of factors and implications this will have for the retailing sector and make the necessary alterations accordingly.

“NFDA will remain in dialogue with the relevant parties in Government throughout the consultation process and have reached out to relevant ministers within parliament to address our concerns. NFDA will inform members once we have received a response.”