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Letter: Zero-emission vehicle mandate

1. Outline

This is a letter from Professor Piers Forster, Chair of the Climate Change Committee to Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, providing advice on the zero-emission vehicle mandate and CO2 regulations for new cars and vans, pursuant to s48(1) and s48(2) of the Climate Change Act 2008, on behalf of Ministers of the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Department for Infrastructure for Northern Ireland.

2. Key messages

The letter welcomes the introduction of a zero-emission vehicle mandate, which will set minimum requirements on the zero-emission share of each manufacturer’s new car and van sales that increase each year out to 2030. This will save money for British motorists, improve air quality and help the UK meet its legislated climate targets.

  • The switch to electric cars and vans is the largest single driver of future emissions reduction in the UK’s Net Zero pathway. The mandate will be vital in delivering these savings.
  • Vehicle manufacturers around the world are gearing up to produce electric vehicles, and demand from motorists continues to grow quickly. The mandate will build on this progress and help secure a supply of these vehicles for the UK.
  • The mandate provides clarity for manufacturers, businesses and motorists on the direction of the UK market and the rate of change that is required. This will allow UK manufacturers to safely scale up supply chains and will help unlock investment in charging networks.
  • A mandate will save money for motorists, as a typical electric car is expected to be cost-saving to own relative to a conventional vehicle by the mid-2020s.

Alongside the mandate, the letter also urges the Government to focus on creating the conditions to drive faster electric vehicle uptake where possible, to set more ambitious emissions regulations for the new petrol and diesel cars that continue to be sold, and to increase the availability, attractiveness and affordability of alternatives to car use to enable people to make lower-carbon travel choices.