Motor Industry Update 26 November 2020

Electric non-combustion car

2030 combustion engines ban requires more thought

The UK Government’s announcement to ban the sale of all internal combustion engine cars by 2030 has prompted many in the industry to question whether the country will actually have the infrastructure in place. GlobalData’s David Leggett shared his view on the news, saying:

“Bringing forward the date for a ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2030 is a pretty big challenge for automotive companies in terms of the scale and speed of such a transition and associated costs.

“The technology itself is not cheap and many in the industry are concerned that take-up of fully electric new cars in the UK market – though rising – is still low at 5.5% share so far this year. Surveys of car buyers show interest in future electric car purchase tempered by concerns over high purchase prices, battery charging availability and battery performance.

“Norway, with a near 50% fully electric share of the overall car market, serves as an example of the necessary joined-up thinking needed to encourage electric car take-up. Besides purchase incentives and tax breaks, there are also numerous electric vehicle ownership benefits such as dedicated traffic lanes and cheap or free parking.

“We have a long way to go in Britain to get anywhere near where Norway is currently and millions more battery charging points are needed to meet a 2030 ICE cut-off.

“Companies and consumers alike will be looking for signs of a coherent and joined-up government strategy to enable such a huge demand shift on a tight timescale.”

New road pricing reports

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney commented on reports of a possible new road pricing system to replace the existing fuel tax by saying:

“As we move away from combustion fuels and increase adoption of battery electric vehicles, the Chancellor understands the need to explore ways of plugging the financial hole that will be left by today’s emissions-based motoring taxes. We continue to work with both the Treasury and wider transport stakeholders in considering how and when the tax system should adapt to this zero-emission transition.

“Any radical change will need a great deal of consideration and forward planning. Policymakers must start conversations now and the fleet industry must have a seat at the table in these discussions. To support a speedy and sustainable shift to zero emission road transport, it is essential to have alignment between fiscal and environmental policy. Getting it wrong will punish drivers and compromise the UK’s ability to achieve its environmental and economic goals. To get it right, it must be fair, proportionate, practical and planned.”

Photograph courtesy of Mercedes-Benz