SMMT ‘up for the challenge’ of Net Zero electric cars

The motor traders’ organisation SMMT has welcomed the government’s plans to make UK private transport net-zero, after Zero Emission Vehicle Mandates were proposed that set out ambitious targets for the decarbonisation of private vehicles.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The automotive sector continues to invest billions in a wide and growing range of zero-emission vehicles, vehicles which are already becoming commonplace on Britain’s roads.

“To accelerate the pace of take-up and deliver the carbon savings Net Zero demands, however, regulation must encourage consumers to purchase, not just compel manufacturers to produce.”

So what are the incentives for British motorists to switch over to zero-emission vehicles – and are they proving enough to persuade the British public to take delivery of electric cars, or are we still living a love affair with internal combustion engines?

Incentives to switch to electric cars

There are several incentive schemes in place to encourage uptake of electric vehicles:

• A nil rate of road tax on vehicles with zero exhaust emissions.
• An exemption on the most eco-friendly vehicles worth over £40,000, which would normally be required to pay an extra £355 road tax per year.
• An exemption from the London congestion charge and various clean air zones around the country, for vehicles with ultra-low emissions.
• Grants of up to £1,500 to buy a plug-in vehicle from a list of eligible makes and models.
• Grants of up to £350 under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, to subsidise the cost of installing a fast charging point at home.

As the upfront purchase price of electric cars comes closer in line with internal combustion engine equivalents, and the long-term running costs (including the cost of recharging vs. the cost of petrol and diesel) become more and more favourable, buying electric is starting to look like an economical option from the entry-level end of the market to the luxury top-end.

UK deliveries of electric cars

Taking the above into account, it’s no surprise that UK deliveries of electric cars are rising fast. In January 2022, the Department for Transport published its latest quarterly figures for the British new car registrations market, covering the quarter from July to September of 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the market in 2020, it’s clear to see battery electric vehicles are stealing an ever-increasing share of the UK automotive sector.

In Q3 2021 registrations of new BEVs were up 44% to over 50,000 vehicles, out of the 542,000 vehicles registered in total. Over the same period, there were only 35,000 new diesel cars registered – pure electric cars are selling faster than diesels.

Petrol cars remain the clear leaders, with 213,000 new vehicle registrations. But that’s a fall of 41% year-on-year and, combined with the 66% drop in diesel registrations, it’s a clear sign that UK motorists are moving away from pure ICE vehicles.

The hybrid market remains active though, with 76,000 HEVs and 29,000 plug-in HEVs also registered in the three-month period.

Taking delivery of electric cars

Whatever type of vehicle you need to transport – whether it’s fresh from the production line, moving to a forecourt to go on sale, or travelling to its first owner’s home – Ontime are here to help.

In addition to our conventional covered car transporters, we also have dedicated electric car transporters complete with built-in charging points, to make sure the vehicle arrives with a full battery, ready to drive.

For more information about our car transporters for electric, hybrid and ICE vehicles, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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