Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive:
Automotive is on track to deliver zero emission motoring, so we welcome this long-awaited consultation on a watershed regulation for the UK new car and van market. We want regulation that gives consumers choice and affordability, and enables manufacturers to transition sustainably and competitively.
While the proposals rightly reflect the sector’s diversity, late publication and lack of regulatory certainty make product planning near impossible, and the continued lack of clarity as to what technologies will be permitted beyond 2030 undermines attempts to secure investment.
Measures to improve the customer charging experience are a step in the right direction, but the fact that contactless credit or debit card payments will not be available on the vast majority of public chargers is a major failing that will significantly disadvantage EV drivers. It is also disappointing that, unlike in other countries, there is no commensurate regulation to drive investment into the public network given that paucity of chargepoints remains the biggest barrier to buying an electric vehicle. Ultimately, for this mandate to be successful, infrastructure providers must now turn promises into investment and catch up with the commitments of vehicle manufacturers.
The UK new car and van market is already moving at pace towards electrification, the result of massive investment by manufacturers and increased consumer demand. If the UK is to lead the global race to zero emission mobility, however, it must go further and faster in unlocking infrastructure investment, incentivising EV ownership and helping ensure more of these vehicles are developed and built in Britain.