Government consulting on details for a UK ZEV mandate for cars and vans

Fri 08 April 2022 View all news

The Government has launched a technical consultation to seek views on its proposals for a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate for cars and vans sold in the UK. The measure is aimed at forcing manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of electric vehicles in the lead up to 2030 when the commitment to end the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles (without significant zero emission capability) is set to begin.

Initially announced as part of the Net Zero strategy in October 2021, the ZEV mandate will mean that, from 2024, manufacturers will have ZEV sales converted into ‘certificates’ and be required to hold a certain number of certificates at the end of each year relating to the total number of vehicles they’ve sold. There will also continue to be CO2 emissions targets to regulate non ZEVs. Enforcement fines will likely be issued to manufacturers who don't meet their targets.

The scheme, as set out in the proposals, will allow for the trading of certificates, enabling manufacturers to buy and sell ZEV certificates between them. Two separate certificate systems – one for cars and one for vans – are envisaged.

The Government is specifically consulting on:

  • the level of ZEV uptake mandated (trajectories)
  • how certificates could be allocated and used
  • the banking, borrowing and transfer of ZEV certificates
  • the possibility of derogations and exemptions within the ZEV mandate
  • how to regulate the non-ZEV portion of the fleet

On the basis of 2021 UK sales of fully zero emission vehicles - which reached a new record of 12% - the Government estimates that the range for the first year of the ZEV mandate (2024) will be between 20% and 30%.

The consultation document focuses mainly on the ZEV mandate in relation to cars but a lower trajectory is envisaged for vans. Electric vans currently have a much lower share of sales (around 2%) than electric cars.

Commenting on the plans, Zemo Partnership Chief Executive, Andy Eastlake, said: “The ZEV mandate is a critical element in plans to deliver transport decarbonisation to the timescale determined by our Net Zero targets. The consultation provides stakeholders with the opportunity to influence how it is finally implemented and I would urge all those with an interest or responsibility for delivering it to engage actively with the process.  Getting this right will also help form the basis for possible approaches in other sectors.

“Zemo will be working with our 220-plus members to provide constructive input to the consultation."

The consultation period began on April 7 and will run until June 10.

The Government says that responses will complement evidence already gathered from the Green Paper on a New Road Vehicle CO2 Emissions Regulatory Framework for the United Kingdom, as well as from ongoing engagement with stakeholders and reviews of International best practice. A Statutory Instrument and an impact assessment on the proposals will be published later in the year.


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