The consultation on electric cars is one of a flurry of announcements published on Thursday morning updating the government’s approach to energy security and the transition to net zero. But the plans have already been heavily criticised for not going far enough.
Under the new “zero emission vehicles” mandate manufacturers will have to sell a certain proportion of electric vehicles every year with the threshold rising until 2035.
From 2024 carmakers will have to ensure 22 per cent of their cars and 10 per cent of vans are electric, rising to 52 per cent of cars and 46 per cent of vans by 2028.
But the government has created two big loopholes allowing carmakers to get around the targets.
First, companies will have a certain number of allowances to sell petrol and diesel cars that they will be able to trade with each other.
Second, in another big concession, the government will allow carmakers to offset some shortfalls in meeting the EV targets during the first three years with a higher proportion of EV sales later in the decade.
The UK’s car industry faces being wiped out unless the Government steps up help with the switch to electric vehicles, a leading industry figure has warned.
Former Nissan boss Andy Palmer predicted it is “probable” that car firms would leave the UK without a huge subsidy package similar to the billions in support the US and the EU are providing.
He said that without subsidies the UK was “managing decline” in the industry, but had a “last opportunity” to boost the sector. It was “not only possible, it’s probable” that UK-based carmakers could leave, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 30 March 2023 - 11:51 PM.