Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate still on the cards21 Sep 2023

Set to go ahead despite postponement of ban on sale of new petrol and diesel cars

Ministers still intend to introduce annual targets on the volume of zero emission vehicles car companies must sell despite the Prime Minister’s announcement that the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been postponed from 2030 to 2035.

The RAC Foundation understands the so-called Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate is still due to be introduced from next year.

In one scenario outlined in a public consultation run earlier this year large-scale automotive companies selling cars in the UK must ensure that in 2024 22% of their sales must be zero emission, rising to 80% of sales by 2030.

Manufacturers who fail to meet these obligations will be liable to pay a penalty, possibly of as much as £15,000 per  vehicle per polluting vehicle sold above the limit.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said:

“With the zero emission vehicle mandate apparently going ahead as planned from 2024, the pressure will still be squarely on auto manufacturers to ramp up the supply of affordable battery electric vehicles and persuade car-buyers of their benefits.

“Whilst the formal date for the end of new petrol and diesel sales will now be 2035, most look set to disappear from showrooms by 2030.

“The Government can’t dodge its own responsibilities for addressing car-buyers’ concerns about going electric.

“It must ensure the delivery of a comprehensive, user-friendly and reliable public charging network backed up by consumer protection regulations with real teeth.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), told the Press Association:

“While the UK’s end of sale date for new conventional petrol and diesel vehicles has now been pushed back, regulation compelling the sale of EVs is still expected to be published imminently and to take effect in just over 100 days.

“This remains the single most important mechanism to deliver the UK’s net zero commitment.

“However, while manufacturers have invested billions to bring a growing choice of models to market, now more than ever consumers must be encouraged to make the switch.

“This will require a package of incentives for private buyers that complements those on offer to businesses, as well as measures to accelerate the roll out of charge points.”

The Department for Transport said an announcement on the ZEV mandate will be made in due course.



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 07711 776448

Notes to editors:

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