Ban on diesel and petrol cars divides Britain

21 Octobre, 2018, 16:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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"If we are serious about being EV world leaders, the government must come forward with a target of new sales of cars and vans to be zero emission by 2032", stated Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

The report, published today, finds that the poor provision of charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the greatest barriers to growing the UK EV market.

The group said that although the United Kingdom was a world leader on electric cars, ranked fourth globally in sales past year, that status was at risk due to the government being too vague on its targets.

A Government spokesman said that the current plans would aim for between 50% and 70% of new auto sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030, and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.

It said the Government's current plan lacked clarity over what vehicles will be able to be sold after 2040 and a clear target for "truly zero-emissions" vehicles was needed and should be accelerated to 2032.

The 2040 target puts the United Kingdom behind a range of countries including Norway, which is aiming for an end to combustion engine cars in 2025, and India, China, the Netherlands and Ireland with a 2030 goal and Scotland with a target of 2032.

"If we want to ensure we have jobs in the vehicle industry in the United Kingdom in 20 years time we need to be at the forefront of the electric auto revolution", she told the Guardian.

"We also outlined measures to bring forward a major uplift in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, paving the way for the widespread adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles", the spokesman added.

The report also claims that the current fiscal regime for EVs provides inconsistent messages about the Government's ambitions and recommends that it aligns new fiscal changes with the zero emissions target.

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She also said the government needed to "get a grip" and "lead on coordinating the financial support and technical know-how necessary" for local authorities to install electric auto charging points.

"Zero emission vehicles make up just 0.6% of the market meaning consumer appetite would have to grow by some 17,000% in just over a decade".

BEIS also attacked last week's decision by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to cut the plug-in auto grant.

Ms Reeves said: "The Government can not simply will the ends and leave local government, or private companies, to deliver the means". Cutting support is a perverse way to encourage drivers to move to non-polluting cars. The Local Government Association hit back, claiming cash strapped councils should not be responsible for "replacing petrol stations" and rolling out charging infrastructure.

As for the automotive industry, the report calls on the Government to work more closely with top carmakers to create a national auto industry that is "attractive" for investors and companies looking to locate new EV facilities in the UK.

The report also calls for financial incentives to encourage EV purchases - including for a planned reduction in low-emission BIK company auto tax rates to be brought forward.

Hawes added: We said we need world class infrastructure and world class incentives to have any chance of delivering so the recent cuts to the plug-in auto grant and lack of charging facilities - both of which are severely criticised by the Committee - show just how hard it would be to accelerate this transition.

A quick point about that EV market: 119,821 alternatively fuelled vehicles were sold in the United Kingdom in 2017, though that figure includes hybrids.

Responding to the report, a Government spokesman said: "Our Road to Zero Strategy outlined our ambition for the United Kingdom to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle".

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