I see that the government is proposing that, by 2024, 22% of new car sales in the UK must be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Given that it does not make or sell cars, this is a bold move. Bolder still, this requirement (it is not merely a target) rises to 28% by 2025 and upwards from there to 80% by 2030. This makes sense to the civil service given that new petrol and diesel cars are not to be sold here after 2030 or so we’re told.
Manufacturers that sell under 2,500 cars a year would be exempt. Others could face fines of up to £15,000 per car if they miss their numbers. It doesn't take much by way of clairvoyance to see that manufacturers will struggle with this ratchet, especially because so far there are only 38,000 public charge points out of a target of 300,000 by 2030, and will need to seek ways of coping. To qualify as a ‘ZEV’ cars must ‘emit no CO2 at the exhaust’ and have a minimum range of 120 miles.
It could all be a struggle. One way to sell more cars is to pare profits to the bone just to meet the target – and this is surely what the DoT civil servants anticipate.