Zero Emission Cars – PRA welcomes report criticising lack of preparations for ICE phase out

Zero Emission Cars – PRA welcomes report criticising lack of preparations for ICE phase out
PRA Executive Director Gordon Balmer

The PRA has welcomed a highly critical report into the UK government’s lack of preparations to meet its target to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and for all new cars to be zero-emission from 2035.

The report published by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says that with just 11% of new car registrations being ultra-low emission in 2020 it will be a “huge challenge” to get this to 100% in the next 14 years.

Achieving this ambition will require convincing consumers of the affordability and practicality of zero-emission cars, with up-front prices still too high for many in comparison to petrol or diesel equivalents, and addressing the current very uneven take-up across the UK.

The number of charging points is increasing rapidly, but many more will be required within a very short period of time to support the envisaged growth in electric cars in the UK, and the PAC is not convinced the government is on track with this crucial infrastructure.

Echoing its recent report on environmental taxes, which said the Treasury and HMRC seemed “stuck in a bygone era”, with a narrow focus on tax revenues rather than the way they must be used to drive the transition to net zero, the committee says the Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will need to do much more to consider the practical application of this large societal change, and put consumers at the heart of it.

The departments will need to be on top of the other consequences arising from this transition, including the impact on the skills and capabilities required to support the changeover in the UK vehicle fleet; the environmental and social implications of the switch-over both in the UK and across global supply chains; the impact on our future power needs; and the impact on the government tax-take due to the loss of fuel duties.