The U.K. Government recently decided to phase out the sale of gas and diesel vehicles, a decicion appluaded by the BVRLA, although the agency warns "that setting dates is only the start of the process."
The association’s members own and operate over five million cars, vans, and trucks and are responsible for around half of all new vehicle registrations. All of them are committed to decarbonising, but some face a challenges. Many fleet operators are unable to source appropriate electric vehicles for their needs while others have a business model that struggles to absorb the additional cost and charging constraints of running electric vehicles (EV).
“2030 is an extremely aggressive phase-out target, but one that will be embraced by many drivers and fleet operators," BVRLA said in a statement. "The 2035 extension for plug-in and full hybrids provides an essential lifeline for those facing a greater zero-emission challenge. Vehicle rental companies and van fleet operators will be very relieved to have this additional breathing space but will need clarity on exactly what types of hybrid are in scope. Setting these phase-out dates is just the start of the journey, now the government needs to create the supportive environment that will enable fleets and motorists to step up to the challenge of decarbonising road transport. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be cheap.”
The BVRLA believes that there are three support areas that the Government must focus on:
- Maintaining a set of powerful tax incentives and grants that will drive demand across all segments of the UK fleet and retail automotive market. Research produced for the BVRLA by Cambridge Econometrics estimates that this stimulus package could cost up to £95bn.
- Ensuring that the U.K. remains an attractive market for OEMs to sell their products.
- Creating a comprehensive strategy on charging infrastructure. This must include an adequate supply of affordable, accessible and reliable public charge points and incentives to unlock private sector investment. EV infrastructure rollout should not be held back by arguments about who pays for upgrading the local electricity network and how this work is prioritised. The government has announced 1.3 billion pounds in funding to accelerate the roll-out of charge points across the U.K., but recent research produced for the SMMT suggests that 16.7 billion pounds needs to be spent on public charging infrastructure alone.