A 2030 petrol and diesel sales ban would cut air pollution and put the UK ahead in the global EV market

Monday 19 March 2018

Despite progress in supporting electric vehicles (EV), continued lack of robust policy to drive the industry is setting Britain back in the global market, in the face of European and global competition. But if the proposed ban on petrol and diesel vehicles was brought forward ten years, from 2040 to 2030, the government would simultaneously make a big gesture which improved urban air quality and backed British manufacturing.
New analysis from think tank Green Alliance [1] shows that introducing a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate alongside a strong vehicle emissions target can boost the EV market in Britain.
Using fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, within a revised 2030 ban on sales of polluting vehicles, could lower the UK’s £5 billion trade deficit in the automotive sector and reduce the projected gap in meeting the UK’s carbon budgets by as much as 60 per cent. [2]
The report proposes three key shifts in government policy to encourage the early uptake of EVs:

1. a new ZEV mandate, for sales of zero emission vehicles to reach 15 per cent by 2022, rising to 45 per cent by 2025;
2. going above existing CO2 targets under EU regulation to ensure new sales meet a fleet wide target of 60gCO2/km by 2025;
3. commit to electrifying the entire government vehicle fleet by 2022.
Bringing forward the mainstream uptake of electric vehicles will also have huge health benefits, as it would cut air pollution by at least a sixth by 2025, while halving the UK’s dependence on oil imports by 2035.
In terms of its competitiveness in the global automotive market, Green Alliance warns the UK should not rest on its laurels. Last year, Germany overtook the UK for the first time in EV sales and China manufactured half of all EV’s sold globally. Cementing UK’s leadership in the EV market needs a strong domestic EV manufacturing sector, robust local demand and streamlined supply chains with Europe.
Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance said:
 “Surprisingly, the first two months of 2018 saw a dip in EV sales compared to the previous year. This could be a worrying trend that suggests the need for greater certainty in policy, and a powerful signal to the market that the UK sees electric vehicles as a significant part of its economic future.
If the government wants to leave the environment in a better place, accelerating uptake of electric vehicles will be an excellent and popular way to clean up our air, as well as driving forward an exciting new manufacturing industry for the UK.”

Contact: Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser, Green Alliance, t. 020 7630 4514 ckumar@green-alliance.org.uk
[1] Green Alliance is a charity and independent think tank focused on ambitious leadership for the environment. Since 1979, it has been working with a network of influential leaders in business, NGOs and politics to stimulate new thinking and dialogue on environmental policy, and increase political action and support for environmental solutions in the UK.