UK drivers could miss out on £9bn in savings without Government backing for electric vehicles, report warns
UK motorists could miss out on £9 billion of savings unless the Government does more to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), a new report warns.
A slower roll-out of new EVs would reduce the size of the second-hand market, leaving drivers on lower incomes paying more to continue running petrol cars, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said.
The non-profit organisation estimated that if the Government sticks to its proposed level for the incoming zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate there will be 2.1 million fewer used small and mid-sized EVs on sale by 2033, compared with a scenario in which ministers adopt the car industry’s “high” EV sales projections.
The ZEV mandate will be a requirement for manufacturers to increase the proportion of new cars and vans they sell in the UK that are zero emission, which mostly means pure electrics.
The Government’s latest proposal is for the level to be set at 22per cent for 2024, rising each year – including to 38per cent in 2027 – until 2035 when 100per cent of sales must be zero emission.
ECIU analysis of an outlook produced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – which represents vehicle makers – suggested that in a scenario where take up of EVs is “high”, their market share would hit 34per cent in 2024, and 60per cent in 2027.
The organisation found that used small to mid-sized EVs can save their owners between £500 and £800 a year in running costs compared with petrol equivalents.
That led to a calculation that a reduction in available used EVs would cost UK motorists around £9 billion in missed savings by 2043.
ECIU transport analyst Colin Walker said: “Even with record high electricity costs driven up by the gas crisis, EVs are still around three times cheaper to run than their petrol equivalents.
“But with 82per cent of car sales in the UK being second-hand, this market is critical if many more families across the UK are going to be able to access these savings.
“If Government policy on new EVs goes slow, the growth of the second-hand EV market will be held back, potentially consigning families to more expensive motoring.”
The ECIU believes manufacturers could choose to sell more of their EV stock in the UK if the country sets a tougher ZEV mandate than the European Union.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We’re working closely with industry on the path to all new cars being zero emission by 2035, and carefully considering any issues raised as we consult on our mandate.
“More widely, we‘ve put more than £2 billion into helping consumers transition to electric vehicles.”
Meanwhile modelling by charity RAC Foundation published on Sunday found that the reduction in total carbon emissions from cars necessary to meet the UK’s climate change goals could be achieved without drivers travelling less overall.
The analysis found that a 40per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from cars between 2021 and 2030 can be achieved by big changes in other areas, such as battery electric cars accounting for 35per cent of the total car fleet in 2030.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “From the point of view of the planet, the next car people buy is critical.
“For those thinking of going electric but wavering – perhaps put off by the up-front price – there is a case for pausing to see how things play out in the next year or two, rather than falling back to petrol.”
Press Association – Neil Lancefield