Incentives needed to prepare for ICE ban in 2035, SMMT says
04 September 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
The UK Government needs to commit to significant long-term incentives for EVs, and binding targets on charging infrastructure, if it wants to meet its goal of banning new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.
That's according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which has commissioned research showing that 44% of motorists do not think they will be ready to go electric by the target date.
The SMMT says there should be zero tax on zero emission-capable cars, including plug-in hybrids as well as pure EVs, and a long-term commitment to the plug-in vehicle grant, which it says should also be reapplied to PHEVs.
The SMMT also says that to meet the government's target, 2.8 million public charge points will be needed by 2035, and is therefore calling for a national strategy, led by the government and delivered by local authorities, charging providers, and energy companies.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Car makers are leading the charge to zero emission motoring, with massive investment in new models fuelling huge consumer interest but they can't transform the market alone.
"To give consumers confidence to take the leap into these technologies, we need government and other sectors to step up and match manufacturers' commitment by investing in the incentives and infrastructure needed to power our electric future.
"Manufacturers are working hard to make zero and ultra-low emissions the norm and are committed to working with government to accelerate the shift to net zero - but obstacles remain. Until these vehicles are as affordable to buy and as easy to own and operate as conventional cars, we risk the UK being in the slow lane, undermining industry investment and holding back progress."
The SMMT's survey did find strong interest in EVs from drivers, with 41% saying they were attracted by low running costs, and 29% keen on the environmental benefits.
However, it also found factors putting drivers off were higher purchase prices (52%), lack of local charging points (44%), and fear of being caught out on longer journeys (38%).