Government outlines its vehicle electrification strategy

The government has today announced an extra £350 million to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains and a further £620 million for targeted electric vehicle grants and infrastructure.

It comes as the government publishes its ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’ report in which it lays out how it will meet its ambitious eco targets, particularly achieving net zero by 2050.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The UK’s path to ending our contribution to climate change will be paved with well-paid jobs, billions in investment and thriving green industries – powering our green industrial revolution across the country.

“By moving first and taking bold action, we will build a defining competitive edge in electric vehicles, offshore wind, carbon capture technology and more, whilst supporting people and businesses along the way.

“With the major climate summit COP26 just around the corner, our strategy sets the example for other countries to build back greener too as we lead the charge towards global net zero.”

Related: Ford to build EV components in UK

Ministers have also promised an extra £350m to help the automotive supply chain move to electric.

In order to ensure that eco-targets are met, car makers will face a new ‘Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate’, which means they must sell a proportion of ‘clean’ vehicles every year.

Other key commitments include the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 and ensuring the UK’s charging infrastructure network is reliable and accessible.

The sale of new hybrids can continue until 2035.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are going further and faster than ever to tackle climate change.

“Together with an additional £620m to support vehicle grants and charging infrastructure, our plans for an ambitious zero emission vehicle mandate show that we’re leading the world on the switch to EVs.”

Related: Petrol prices reach highest level in nine years

Later this year, the government will also publish its EV infrastructure strategy, setting out its vision for infrastructure rollout.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “The automotive industry is putting zero-emission vehicles on Britain’s roads at pace beyond all forecasts, such is the choice and appeal of these new models.

“A well-designed, flexible regulatory framework could help maintain or even increase this pace to ensure we deliver on our shared decarbonisation ambitions.

“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 chargepoint 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.”

Edmund King, AA president, said: “With the cost of petrol and diesel rising, the desire to switch to electric is stronger than ever before.

“Should the Chancellor go a step further next week and scrap VAT on targeted new EV sales, he would deliver a truly electrifying budget that could get electric done.”

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