The UK Government has unveiled yesterday, 28 September, revisions to the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate. This mandate imposes escalating sales targets for zero-emission vehicles, representing a critical step towards achieving net-zero emissions within the transportation sector. The announcement comes after the government's decision to postpone the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

NFDA will be in attendance at the upcoming 2023 Labour and Conservative party conferences. During these conferences, NFDA will actively seek further clarity regarding the implications of yesterday's decision and engage with both parties to understand their vision for leading the automotive industry toward the 2035 target.

"Whilst NFDA and its dealer members are committed to helping government in reaching net-zero and reducing emissions within transport, the Government’s decision today to keep the electric vehicle sales targets for cars in the ZEV mandate unchanged generates concern amongst franchised dealers." said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA)

These ambitious registration goals are expected to create a challenging trading landscape, particularly given the recent extension of the deadline for the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles. This shift in timelines could potentially affect consumer demand for electric vehicles, posing a complex challenge for dealers who must now strive to meet these targets.

"NFDA strongly urges the government to introduce attractive incentives to make electric vehicles more accessible for less-affluent motorists"

On a positive note, the revised trajectories for vans are more closely aligned with market demand and set more attainable objectives within this sector.

NFDA constantly expressed concerns regarding the initial proposed targets, particularly in regions like Northern Ireland, where the electric vehicle infrastructure is currently inadequate, with only 1% of UK chargers installed in the province. The exemption of these regulations in Northern Ireland while the Assembly at Stormont is not in session is seen as a positive step, affording Northern Ireland the essential time to align its electric vehicle infrastructure with the rest of the UK.

Franchised dealers play an indispensable role in facilitating the transition to electric vehicles. They contribute significantly to EV sales in the UK and have invested millions in preparing for this transition. Ensuring a seamless transition requires government policies that align with these efforts.

NFDA remains dedicated to seeking clarity on the consequences of this decision and fostering dialogues with government about their strategies for advancing the automotive industry towards the 2035 target.