Tory MPs call on Rishi Sunak to bring in electric car mandate

GB News guests debate using electric cars

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The UK Government is currently consulting on plans to set targets for manufacturers to sell more zero emission vehicles, with some carmakers pushing for weaker targets. The ZEV mandate has been praised as being one of the key measures the Government could take to ensure the UK meets its net zero aims.

Two Conservative MPs have now spoken of the importance of the ambitious mandate on carmakers to help reduce the cost of electric vehicles.

It is hoped this will also support the growth of the EV charging network and support investment and growth across the country.

A recent report entitled “Green Uplift” by think tank Green Alliance, highlights the role of a ZEV mandate in reducing the upfront cost of electric vehicles.

The report cites analysis which shows that ramping up sales of new electric cars now could benefit secondhand car owners and help them save up to £2,300, compared to a diesel or petrol equivalent.

Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley, spoke to Green Alliance about the ZEV and how it can benefit the UK’s environmental goals.

He said: “Charging up the UK’s electric vehicle industry will deliver for levelling up and net zero. 

“If delivered with true ambition, the Government’s ZEV mandate will speed up our transition to electric and bring fresh investment, employment and growth across areas like the Midlands and North”.  

This follows Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, which included plans to introduce vehicle excise duty (VED) on electric vehicles for the first time by 2025.

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New zero emission cars registered on or after April 1, 2025, will be “liable to pay the lowest first year rate of VED (which applies to vehicles with CO2 emissions one to 50g/km) currently £10 a year”.

From the second year of registration they will move to the standard rate of VED which is currently £165 a year.

According to the Treasury’s impact assessment, it will bring in £515million in 2025-26, £985million in 2026-27 and a massive £1.595billion in 2027-28.

Nick Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley, is also calling on Rishi Sunak to not put the EV revolution at risk by putting drivers off from the cleaner vehicles.

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He said the UK was already a world leader in electric vehicles in a number of ways.

He pointed to the enormous public charging network, which is one of the largest in Europe, with EVs making up around 16 percent of sales.

Mr Fletcher added: “Even though electric vehicles are getting cheaper and cheaper, and lots of drivers rightfully want to swap their old petrol vehicle for an electric one, there’s still lots of people in my constituency that can’t afford to pay the upfront cost. 

“Getting ahead of the curve with an ambitious ZEV mandate on carmakers would ensure market certainty and bring down the costs for electric vehicles for consumers.”

At the end of October 2022, there were 35,778 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 21,378 charging locations. 

This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of charging devices since October 2021, according to Zap-Map. Earlier this month, a group of UK-based organisations wrote an open letter to the Government calling for a ZEV mandate.

The letter, which was written to Business Secretary Grant Shapps and Transport Secretary Mark Harper, demands the Government to “demonstrate climate leadership” in the decarbonisation of road transport.

It was said that an ambitious ZEV mandate would “guarantee a minimum proportion of electric vehicles on the road from 2024 and provide a clear signal and trajectory to infrastructure investors to accelerate the charge-point roll-out”.

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