Applying the brakes to the 2030 electrification deadline by the Government is a poor and insincere reflection on the needs of business and the environment, according to the head of Britain’s fleet professionals.
Paul Hollick, chair of the AFP, said, “This is a crucial subject where massive investments have been made and is not just something that should be politicked in the expectation of short-term gain. Really, what we want to see is more help from the government in order to meet the 2030 deadline, especially when it comes to light commercial vehicles.”
Lisa Brankin, Ford UK Chair said, “Three years ago the government announced the UK’s transition to electric new car and van sales from 2030. The auto industry is investing to meet that challenge.
“Ford has announced a global $50 billion commitment to electrification, launching nine electric vehicles by 2025. The range is supported by £430 million invested in Ford’s UK development and manufacturing facilities, with further funding planned for the 2030 timeframe.
“This is the biggest industry transformation in over a century and the UK 2030 target is a vital catalyst to accelerate Ford into a cleaner future. Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency.
“A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three. We need the policy focus trained on bolstering the EV market in the short term and supporting consumers while headwinds are strong: infrastructure remains immature, tariffs loom and cost-of-living is high.”
Ben Nelmes, CEO of New AutoMotive, the transport research group that contributed to bringing forward the UK petrol and diesel ban from 2040 to 2030 said the move would be disruptive for the industry.
“Delaying the 2030 deadline would pull the rug from under motorists and industry, and would deal a hammer blow to the UK’s leadership on climate change. It would be incredibly disruptive for an industry which has invested billions based on what they were told was settled policy, undermining jobs and investment.
“The 2030 deadline is one of the few areas of net zero that will actually save people money. Shifting to electric cars and vans will drive down costs for UK drivers. This move will deny people access to cheaper motoring, and if we delay the ban it will actually raise costs for motorists.
“This is a huge shock to the industry, which has invested billions in electrification – and on top of that, it’s also bad news for the planet. Pushing back 2030 risks putting net zero beyond reach.
“This is a cynical short term attempt to politicise an area of sensible, settled policy. The car and energy industries have been working tirelessly towards this. I hope that Rishi Sunak sees sense and does not backtrack to the extent that it’s being trailed on Friday.”
Asif Ghafoor, CEO and co-founder of Northern EV charging network Be.EV added, “The rate at which consumers have adopted EVs has been faster than predicted. The government must create policies that build on the public’s enthusiasm rather than sabotage it.
“Most car manufacturers have already pivoted away from ICE cars, most new models including more affordable EV models will be in the market by 2025 and a whole new manufacturing industry has sprung up in quiet, clean and modern EVs.
“We need legislation to unlock the power trapped in the system – but it’s all taking too long. Every leg of the planning, permissions, sourcing power and building process slows an installation down – charging networks are not able to move anywhere near quick enough to keep up with the amount of drivers transitioning to EVs.
“In decarbonising transport, we are facing a thoroughly novel challenge and a major industrial shift. If the government is truly committed to the EV transition, they have to take the strategic lead.”