Today, 28 September 2023, the Government announced revisions to the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate, which requires manufacturers to sell an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles each year. This decision comes after the government recently decided to delay the ban of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 to 2035.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK, commented:

"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. These ambitious registration targets will create a difficult trading environment in conjunction with the recent decision to push back the ban of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035."

"As the consumer facing end of the industry, franchised dealers will have to continue to push for electric vehicles to meet these targets whilst the recent five-year delay will likely damage consumers demand for electric vehicles. To adopt a pragmatic approach to net-zero targets, NFDA strongly urges the government to introduce attractive incentives to make electric vehicles more accessible for less-affluent motorists."

"For vans, NFDA embraces the revised trajectories. This adjustment better aligns with market demand and establishes more attainable objectives within the sector.”

“NFDA expressed that the proposed targets were too ambitious for areas such as Northern Ireland, which are extremely underprepared in terms of electric vehicle infrastructure, with only 1% of UK chargers being installed in the province. We therefore welcome these regulations not applying to Northern Ireland while the Assembly at Stormont is not sitting. Today’s decision gives the sector in Northern Ireland time to catch up to the rest of the UK.

“Franchised dealers play a vital role in the transition to electric vehicles, contributing significantly to EV sales within the UK and investing millions into the transition to electric. We are committed to supporting consumers throughout this journey, ensuring they have access to the information needed to make the switch to electric. However, it is crucial that government policies align with these efforts to create a seamless transition”.

Robinson concluded:

“Next week, NFDA will be attending both 2023 Labour and Conservative party conferences, where we will seek further clarity around today’s decision and how both parties look to lead the automotive industry towards 2035.”