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Net Zero Review urges swift delivery of UK Government's EV sales mandate

EV on charge

A Net Zero Review delivered on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recommended the swift delivery of an electric vehicle (EV) mandate and VAT cuts to make public charging more affordable.

The move to compel OEMs to sell a certain number of zero-emission vehicles and a reduction in VAT on public charge pints – to bring them in-line with home chargers – are among 129 recommendations from the review into how net zero can be achieved by 2050.

Led by chair of the Net Zero Review Chris Skidmore MP, the document said there was “no time to waste” in setting policies that would accelerate the UK towards its climate goals.

It said Government must “meet the net present danger of not acting fast enough” by taking forward a ’25 by 25’ series of no regrets and no excuses policy recommendations.

Among the key recommendations associated with the automotive sector are:

  • Government to reduce delays to anticipated reforms by bringing forward the delayed Future of Transport Bill this Parliament
  • Government to swiftly deliver the ZEV mandate, to apply from 2024, while maintaining regulations and funding to support the uptake of electric and other zero emission vehicles, and continuing to drive emission reductions from internal combustion engines 
  • By Autumn 2023 HM Treasury should review how policy incentivises investment in decarbonisation, including via the tax system and capital allowances
  • Government to equalise VAT on public and private electric vehicle charging in 2024.

Skidmore said: “We should be proud of the lead the UK has taken in tackling climate change, having exceeded expectations so far in our race to net zero emissions by 2050.

Chair of the Net Zero Review Chris Skidmore MP“In developing this report, we have engaged with communities, economists, and climate experts from across the country through more than 50 roundtables and 1800 submissions – all of which have led to the Mission Zero findings.

“My recommendations are designed to make the most of this historic opportunity, covering the length and breadth of our economy, so that people in every part of the country can reap the benefits of this both in their communities, and in their pockets.”

Today’s Net Zero review highlighted that, although the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) new car registrations data for 2022 showed that although the combined market share of EVs and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) reached 22.9% last year the majority of sales had been “concentrated amongst higher earners”.

However, it asserted that – spurred on by the ZEV mandate – the UK was likely to see EVs increasingly filter through to the second-hand market, offering “lower prices and making them more affordable for lower income households”.

AM reported today on MyEnergi research which found that EVs charged at home will continue to benefit from lower running costs than their petrol equivalents unless the price at the pumps dips below £1 per litre.

The Net Zero Review highlighted the FairCharge campaign’s call for the government to cut VAT on public chargers, which currently stands at 20%.

It also said that he development of the UK’s charging infrastructure should not be left to private companies alone, stating that “A ‘broadband style’ approach should be taken to ensure that chargers are spread out fairly across the country.”

The Review’s research showed that at the start of October 2022, the UK had nearly 35,000 public EV charge points, with more than 1,200 new rapid chargers and over 5,000 new standard chargers installed during the first nine months of the year.

“With nearly 250,000 new plug-in registrations during the same period, that is just one new standard public charger installed for every 50 new plug-in electric vehicle registrations,” it said.

To read the full Net Zero Review document, click here.

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