New regulations have come into force to increase electric vehicle (EV) sales and help grow charging infrastructure.

The Government’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate sets out the percentage of new zero emission cars and vans manufacturers will be required to produce each year.

Wiring up change

This year, 10% of vans and more than a fifth (22%) of cars sold by manufacturers will need to be electric. These targets for manufacturers will increase each year.

By 2030, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission. By 2035v it will be 100%.

Vehicle makers that fail to achieve the ZEV mandate sales targets will be subject to fines.

Technology and decarbonisation minister Anthony Browne says over the last year major investment by government has been taking place.  The charging sector has expanded “by 44%” for a start.

“This will support the constantly growing number of EVs in the UK, which currently account for over 16% of the new UK car market”  adds Browne.

Plugging the gaps

In the first half of 2023, 16% of all new cars sold were electric.

Only 11 car makers exceeded the 22% target for EV sales, however, and a third of all the EVs sold in the UK between January and July came from just three brands.

Manufacturers such as BYD, GWM ORA, MG, Polestar, Smart and Tesla were significantly ahead of the target, due to their model ranges being mainly or entirely electric.

BMW, Cupra, Jaguar, Porsche and Volvo were also close-to or already achieving the target.

However, the figures suggest that Japanese brands Honda, Mazda, and Toyota Lexus face a particular challenge. The bulk of their sales still come from internal combustion engine (ICE) models.

Ford, equally, has a strong ICE mix, with EVs making up just 2% of its registrations in the first half of 2023.

Pale green

Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA,) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK, said: “The introduction of the ZEV mandate into law today will be a key policy in driving electric vehicle uptake and will heavily influence the automotive retail sector in its ongoing transition to electric.”

However, she added: “There is still more that needs to be done by Government to maintain the positive electric vehicle trajectory in registrations and increase public confidence in these greener, cleaner vehicle types.

She concluded: “Whilst the ZEV mandate is certainly a step in the right direction, the Government needs to offer more attractive price incentives and look to improve EV charging infrastructure across the country to increase consumer confidence in electric and help drive the country towards its net-zero commitments.”