UK updates zero-emission mandate for car sales to 2035

Last week, under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the UK government announced a pushback to 2035 from its earlier defined net-zero policies from 2024 to 2030, in line with most EU countries like France, Germany, or Sweden. This mandate regulates the number of ICE cars and vans that can still be sold yearly until the sales ban in 2035.

Under Boris Johnson, the UK initially set the ultimate date limit to sell new cars with combustion engines (ICE) to 2030. To prepare for that, last year, the so-called ZEV mandate was announced to force carmakers from January 2024 to keep reducing the number of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans sold yearly while increasing the share of ZEVs.

More time to prepare

The industry leaders in Great Britain and environmentalists didn’t welcome the pushback. Still, Sunak wanted to grant the car industry more time to prepare for the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

The initial targets for ZEVs sold are now updated: starting in 2024 by 22%, 2025 (28%), 2026 (33%), 2027 (38%), 2028 (52%), 2029 (66%), and 2030 (80%). For van manufacturers, these percentages differ slightly: 2024 (10%), 2025 (16%), 2026 (24%), 2027 (34%), 2028 (46%), 2029 (58%), and 2030 (70%). That means there will be sold 20% new ICE-cars and 30% ICE vans for five more years, until banned completely.

Allowances for ICE cars

The government isn’t going to count the number of EVs sold, but rather the opposite. This new ZEV mandate will remain a ‘tradable’ scheme, which means, in fact, that car manufacturers will get ‘allowances’, permitting them to sell up to a certain number of ICE vehicles per year.

If a carmaker sells more ZEVs than ‘required’ that year, he can sell his spare allowances to manufacturers that have not sold enough ZEVs. To be sure the CO2 emissions of the ICE cars still sold don’t get any worse, the regulation foresees a maximum average emission value set in 2021 or a value for the entire fleet that will be used.






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