The next UK Government needs to provide certainty, focus, and fairness in the transition to zero-emission transport, according to the BVRLA.

The rental and leasing industry body has published a Future of Fleets Manifesto 2024, calling for measures including a locking-in of the ZEV mandate, the publication of a transport tax road map, and long-term strategic pathways for issues such as charging.

The organisation has also asked for support for the used EV market and the rental sector, as well as a wide package of incentives for commercial vehicles.

Speaking at the BVRLA’s Autumn Parliamentary Reception, where the manifesto was launched, the organisation’s director of corporate affairs Toby Poston said: “I’m really proud to say that our sector is not just embracing decarbonisation, it’s driving it. Our members already have around 400,000 pure electric vehicles on the road today. 

“Working with government, we can harness the finance, the expertise and the passion in our industry and deliver millions more EVs over the course of the next Parliament.”

Poston explained that certainty around tax and regulation would provide the confidence that businesses needed to continue investing billions of pounds in the transition.

Discussing some of the manifesto’s points, he said: “The used market is the absolute bedrock of the automotive retail ecosystem. Whether you are focused on getting affordable EVs into the used market, for those seven million that buy used vehicles each year, or whether you’re focused on underpinning a competitive new electric lease market, you’ve really got to start paying attention to that sector. 

“Shared transport is absolutely pivotal, and really has got the solution to a lot of the cost of living crisis, and the congestion challenges we see in cities around the UK. 

“Daily rental and car clubs are an absolute silver bullet here. But we risk firing blanks unless we give it the right support, because that sector has got some massive challenges in absorbing that cost of ownership chasm that exists between ZEVs and ICE vehicles.”

Poston argued that the measures contained in the manifesto could take fleet decarbonisation to the next level.

He said: “I know whoever is in government next is going to have a massive inbox of competing challenges to look at. We know fleet decarbonisation is not going to be easy, but we know it has to be done, it is the right thing to do.”