Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:
Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate proposals are the most ambitious of any major market in the world. The automotive sector continues to invest billions in a wide and growing range of zero emission vehicles, vehicles which are already becoming commonplace on Britain’s roads. To accelerate the pace of take up and deliver the carbon savings Net Zero demands, however, regulation must encourage consumers to purchase, not just compel manufacturers to produce.
Any mandate must be pragmatic, flexible and reflective of every manufacturer’s long-term commitment. It must also avoid being so complex and prescriptive that it becomes a straitjacket for the market and UK manufacturing investment. The danger is that consumers will lack the incentive to purchase these new vehicles – vehicles that will remain more expensive than traditional petrol and diesel cars for a number of years to come – in the quantities needed, keeping their older, more polluting vehicles for even longer thereby undermining the carbon savings this regulation seeks to deliver. Market transformation is proven to work fastest when mandates are matched with incentives and, for automotive electrification, we also need commensurate and binding targets for infrastructure provision.
The industry is committed to decarbonising, welcomed the Government’s Ten Point Plan and is up for the challenge of Net Zero. We will now work closely with government during its consultation process to ensure that the final regulation helps the market transition to zero emission motoring.