Currently reading: The UK Net Zero Strategy: what the car industry thinks
Industry welcomes clarity provided by zero-emission mandates and net decarbonisation goals but warns investment and regulation will be needed
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
19 October 2021

The government's new Net Zero Strategy, which sets out how the UK can reach net zero emissions, includes a new mandate that will require car firms to sell an increasing percentage of zero-emission vehicles each year, and further investment in the UK charging network and automotive industry.

This is how the UK car industry and leading experts have reacted to the report.

Full story: zero-emission vehicle mandate part of UK Net Zero Strategy

Mike Hawes, the boss of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said the "automotive industry is putting zero-emission vehicles on Britain’s roads at pace beyond all forecasts" and noted a "well-designed, flexible regulatory framework" could help maintain or increase the pace of the transition.

He added: “Consumers need choice and encouragement, irrespective of where they live or what they drive. The additional targeted funding for electric vehicles is welcome and will help ensure affordability for certain models.

"To ensure we have the reliable, accessible and nationwide charge-point network this transition needs, however, requires a similar regulatory approach.

"The announcement of additional funds for on-street residential charging must energise much-needed private sector investment but consumers will only have confidence in the future if there are commensurate and binding requirements on the infrastructure sector. Combining regulatory commitments with financial ones is the key to a successful transition to zero-emission road transport.”

Vauxhall boss Paul Willcox said his firm "welcomes" the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate because it "will provide clarity to the UK motor industry and the rest of the electric vehicle ecosystem, on the basis of a 360deg approach."

He added: "Vauxhall believes a ZEV mandate can work in the UK provided there are complementary targets on the other key parts of the electric vehicle ecosystem which are key to driving Britain to a more sustainable transport infrastructure."

Vauxhall has already pledged to go electric-only in the UK by 2028 and its Ellesmere Port plant will shift to producing electric vans in the future.

The AA president Edmund King said the motoring association "supports the moves towards net zero. EV incentives can help us along that road. New charge-point funding targeted more at the eight million households without dedicated off-street parking is welcome, which will give power to electric drivers."

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ToddGRundelman 20 October 2021

Not good for Ferrari or Lamborghini. Surely they can be exempted. They won't be doing car-sharing anyway.

I'm an American expat residing in London, not going to sell my 1992 Ford Sierra, will still be driving it in 2030 when I'm 51.

catnip 20 October 2021

"The additional targeted funding for electric vehicles is welcome and will help ensure affordability for certain models."

Have they actually said what this will be? Are we talking extra grants for purchasers of new vehicles (again)?

I too wonder how the whole on street charger thing will work. Are we going to see fisty cuffs on the street, in the same way we did at the pumps recently?

peetee 20 October 2021

"What the car industry thinks"

So now the car industry is Vauxhall and Mike Hawes!

The elephant in the room is JLR.  

Ten years ago Autocar would have given prominence to the inevitable comment by, the then U.K.'s largest car maker, on all industry related matters. Today, not a word. 

Nissan, Vauxhall, Ford in recent weeks have announced investment, albeit with government support, to increase electric car production in the U.K.  

JLR have remained silent on their plans, if they really have any, about their future electric models that doesn't rely on petrol or diesel engines. Where is Thierry Bolloré and Andy Street, the West Midlands champion,  these days ?