From education to employment

Electric is the right choice – for the environment, for jobs, for our children’s futures. But like all revolutions, this one requires fuel. The fuel of skills

Outcome and response to the ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans 

In 2019, the UK made history by becoming the first major global economy to pass legislation to end our contribution to climate change. Delivering ‘net zero’ emissions will require drastic action across all sectors of the economy.

In 2018, cars and vans accounted for nearly a fifth of the UK’s total emissions. Tackling these emissions is critical if we are to successfully achieve our climate change goals.

That is why the Prime Minister, as part of his ‘Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution’, has announced we will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, with all new cars and vans being fully zero emission from 2035.

This historic step will significantly reduce carbon emissions to safeguard our planet, reduce harmful pollutants in our towns and cities, create opportunities for our economy and boost our mission to level up across the country. This transition will be matched by the transformation of our energy sector. We recently published the energy white paper, which represents a decisive shift away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy sources.

Moving millions of vehicles to zero emissions is an enormous challenge. Government has already committed £1.5 billion to boost the early market, but now we are going further. We are backing our new phase out dates with over £2.8 billion of investment to drive up the number of zero emission vehicles, accelerate the roll out of our world-class chargepoint infrastructure network, and to secure investment in gigafactories and other strategic technologies to develop the UK’s electric vehicle supply chain.

The global momentum towards zero emission vehicles is unstoppable. The UK is on course to be the fastest G7 nation to decarbonise cars and vans, and we want to see other countries following our lead. Through our leadership of COP26 in Glasgow this year, we will bring about the international collaboration needed to deliver a climate-resilient, zero carbon economy.

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all aspects of our lives and economy, but it has not changed the fact that climate change is among the greatest challenges of our age. We must act, and act now, to ensure that the temporary reduction in harmful emissions we saw from road transport last year is not short lived. We owe it to future generations to build back better, build back greener and secure a sustainable recovery.

We will work in partnership with our world-leading industries to achieve the most fundamental change to transport in over 100 years. We have made strong progress; we must now accelerate to secure a cleaner, greener and more prosperous United Kingdom.

The Rt Hon. Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport and  The Rt Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Executive summary

In 2019, we committed to the UK meeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, to ensure the UK ends its contribution to climate change.

Cars and vans represent 19% of all domestic emissions – we will only achieve net zero across the whole economy if we can make the transition to zero tailpipe emissions for road transport. Our long-term ambition is therefore for almost every car and van to be zero emission at the tailpipe by 2050.

To achieve this, and following a recommendation from government’s independent climate change advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the Prime Minister announced, in February 2020 a public consultation on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035 or earlier.

Bringing forward the phase out date from the previous 2040 target will enable the UK to reduce carbon emissions faster. It will tackle poor air quality in our towns and cities sooner, and support economic growth in the UK by bringing skilled jobs and investment in the energy and automotive sectors. We are also developing a transport decarbonisation plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport.

The consultation represents several months of engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders. We received a large number of responses from organisations spanning a number of sectors, as well as members of the public. A diverse range of views were raised across a number of topics.

Reflecting on the views submitted, and the need for ambitious action, government has announced a two-phase approach.

  1. Step 1 will see the phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030.
  2. Step 2 will see all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have significant zero emission capability, which would include some plug-in and full hybrids. The definition of significant zero emission capability will be consulted on later this year.

Government recognises that a new target will be challenging for different sectors of society and the economy. Issues around affordability, range anxiety and infrastructure must be addressed to foster the willingness of drivers to transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Government takes a technology neutral approach on how this transition will be achieved. While it is true that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) dominate the current ZEV market, we recognise the potential of hydrogen as another solution for zero emission transport, particularly for heavier road vehicles.

The fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and hydrogen refuelling market is in its infancy and government has taken steps to support its growth in the UK. The transport decarbonisation plan will discuss the potential role for hydrogen in decarbonising the transport sector, including road transport. In addition, we have announced plans to publish a hydrogen strategy, which will set out a whole system view of developing the UK hydrogen economy, including how we will work with industry to create 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production for use across the economy by 2030.

This trend towards more affordable electric vehicle driving will only improve between now and the 2030s. Chargepoint infrastructure is growing at pace, as are vehicle ranges, and charging speeds are becoming quicker. More than 1 in 10 cars sold in 2020 came with a plug and, although the van market is not as advanced as the car market, new models are now coming and fleets are committing to roll out large numbers in the 2020s.

There is no doubt that the automotive sector will face challenges along the way. Achieving our new phase dates will require increased supply of ZEVs over the next decade. Manufacturers are already investing heavily in developing products and new models are now being regularly launched. Delivering the transition to 100% ZEVs will require major investment and changes in vehicle manufacturing and the supply chain. There will be investment and new jobs in manufacturing, associated infrastructure, and the supply chain, but also significant disruption as industry moves away from conventional vehicle technologies. This transition is happening globally, and it is now a question of when, not if, it takes place. The UK will take a leading role.

To support this transition, government committed £1.5 billion from 2015 to 2020, with grants available for plug-in cars, vans, lorries, buses, taxis and motorcycles, as well as funding to support chargepoint infrastructure at homes, workplaces, on residential streets and across the wider road network.

In November 2020, we announced a further £2.8 billion package of investment to help deliver our new phase out dates. This includes:

  • £582 million for grants for zero and ultra low emission vehicles to reduce the sticker price and boost ownership
  • £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of infrastructure in homes, workplaces, streets and motorways
  • nearly £500 million to be delivered through the Automotive Transformation Fund, as part of our commitment to provide up to £1 billion, to help industry transition towards ZEVs and maintain the UK’s leading position in the global automotive market

To meet our goals on climate change and to realise the other benefits that ZEVs bring, we want to increase the pace of this transition. In doing so we recognise the importance of deploying a range of cleaner vehicle technologies from today up until the phase out dates. In particular, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids have a key role to play, both in reducing emissions and as a stepping-stone technology to help consumers and businesses adapt to zero emission driving. We are not banning the use of petrol and diesel cars and vans. These decisions only apply to new cars and vans. They do not apply to existing petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans which can continue to be driven and sold in the second hand market.

The evidence is clear that, for cars and vans, although they are not without any environmental impact, BEVs are the best choice today. They have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, even when taking into account the current generation mix of the electricity to charge these vehicles and battery production. As we continue to decarbonise the electricity grid they will become even cleaner.

We will consider a very limited range of derogations to the phase out dates for specialist vehicles, including military service and emergency vehicles, and for parts of the market which may need further time to transition, such as small volume manufacturers. We will consult on these derogations in due course.

We recognise the importance of working with stakeholders to ensure that the phase out dates are achieved. To support this collaboration, and to give greater clarity on the pathway to the phase out dates, we will publish a delivery plan this year setting out major milestones towards the phase out dates and committed spending and regulatory measures. We will monitor progress against the plan and report publicly on an annual basis. We will conduct a review of progress towards the phase out dates by 2025.

Stakeholder views and government response


Transport is now the largest emitting sector for UK greenhouse gas emissions, contributing 27% of UK domestic emissions in 2019, with emissions falling only 5% since 1990. The transition to ZEVs is vital to realising the 2050 net zero emissions commitment target. In their June 2020 progress report, the independent CCC advised that the phase out date for petrol and diesel cars, vans and hybrids, should be no later than 2032, if we are to meet net zero.

Our consultation on this issue invited views on:

  • the phase out date
  • the definition of what should be phased out
  • barriers to achieving the above proposals
  • the impact of these ambitions on different sectors of industry and society
  • what measures are required by government and others to achieve the earlier phase out date

The consultation ran from 20 February 2020 to 31 July 2020. This is a summary of the responses received and sets out our decisions, before outlining next steps.

Who responded

A total of 1,478 responses were submitted – 1,305 from individuals and 173 from organisations. The organisations included:

  • vehicle manufacturers
  • companies with large fleets of vehicles
  • trade and professional associations
  • companies throughout the automotive supply chain
  • chargepoint operators
  • energy companies
  • environmental groups
  • charities
  • academia
  • consumer organisations
  • local authorities and public bodies

This summary aims to capture the main themes and arguments raised by responses. Views have been recorded from written responses as well as from multilateral and bilateral discussions.

Phase out date

This section covers views on bringing forward the phase out date for the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035 or earlier if feasible. The majority of respondents offered a view on a 2035 phase out date, with many considering the viability of an earlier date.

Three broad positions emerged from the consultation. The first was that 2040 is the fastest that the transition can be achieved and that there are several barriers to bringing the date forward. The second position was supportive of bringing the phase out date forward to 2035, the date mentioned in the consultation, but not earlier. The third was that 2035 is not sufficiently ambitious and will not go far enough in reducing carbon emissions, meaning a date earlier than 2035 is required.

The majority of respondents representing organisations, including the majority of infrastructure operators and energy providers as well as some vehicle manufacturers, stated that bringing forward the phase out date for new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to 2035 would be an achievable target.

Respondents that agreed with bringing the date forward stated climate change mitigation was their main consideration, with reference to road transport being the largest carbon emitting sector of the UK economy. It was argued the emission savings that could be made from bringing forward the phase out date by 5 years or more, would be substantial.

It was suggested by some that the UK’s net zero emission target of requiring all greenhouse gas emissions to be net zero by 2050 required a more ambitious phase out date, for new petrol and diesel cars and vans, than 2035. These respondents supported the CCC’s 2020 progress report recommendation of a 2032 phase out date at the latest. Others, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), argued that a phase out date of 2030 is required to tackle climate change earlier and help meet upcoming carbon budgets. The majority of chargepoint operators and energy system respondents were also supportive of an earlier phase out date than 2035.

Many respondents also took the view that an earlier phase out date would result in lower nitrogen oxide and particulate matter levels, improving air quality in towns and cities which would improve human health. The cost of high pollution as well as air quality targets were mentioned as important drivers for an accelerated phase out date.

As well as environmental benefits, the potential economic opportunities for the UK in securing part of the growing global ZEV industry were a major theme of responses in favour of bringing the phase out date forward.

Some respondents took the view that building an ecosystem around zero emissions would enable the UK to attract investment in the development and manufacturing of ZEVs and associated technologies throughout the supply chain, such as battery manufacturing for BEVs. This could lead to a significant expansion of employment in the vehicle and energy industries and increased momentum for innovation in new technologies. By bringing the date forward, it was argued that the supply of ZEVs would increase sooner, which could stimulate consumer demand for these vehicles through lower costs and lead to greater numbers of ZEVs on the road faster.

A similar case was made for anticipated investment in electric chargepoint provision and in technologies allowing integration of BEVs with the energy system. Chargepoint providers and energy sector respondents noted the UK has a strong and diverse chargepoint industry and this will help provide the necessary infrastructure and capacity before other major markets. This would result in significant expansion of the electric vehicle infrastructure market, providing further opportunities for economic growth.

The advantages and opportunities of an earlier date were caveated by the need to address barriers and trade-offs for different sections of industry and society. Of those disagreeing with bringing the phase out date forward, 4 main barriers were raised:

  1. readiness of the chargepoint infrastructure market
  2. the readiness of the vehicle manufacturing industry
  3. inadequate battery supply
  4. the impact on consumers

A fuller discussion of these barriers and differing impacts on society is covered in detail in the ‘Impacts on society and industry and barriers to achieving an earlier phase out date’ section.

On infrastructure, respondents who disagreed with bringing the date forward were of the view that the public did not have sufficient confidence in the public charging network or the current technology offer. Respondents argued that an accelerated phase out date would not allow enough time for infrastructure provision to reach sufficient levels, especially in challenging circumstances such as residential areas without off-street parking. Respondents argued that without a growth of consumer confidence, ZEVs would not see the sufficient uptake required to meet an earlier phase out date.

Some vehicle manufacturers raised concerns that hydrogen fuel infrastructure provision had not yet been rolled out to an extent that would stimulate the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). These respondents stated that this is particularly important for ensuring all segments of the car and van market can transition to zero emission, especially those that may not be suitable for BEVs.

The impact of a faster transition on the automotive manufacturing industry and, separately, the ability of this sector to meet required vehicle supply was another major theme in favour of keeping the existing 2040 phase out date. Manufacturers would need time, it was argued, to establish economies of scale in their supply chain to bring down costs and make mass production of ZEVs commercially viable.

Vehicle manufacturer respondents also observed that they would need to be confident that, in the event of a faster transition, there would be sufficient consumer demand for the increased supply of ZEVs, flagging challenges in adapting mass-market consumers over to new products and behaviours. These respondents observed that over 80% of the current UK new car market is imported, suggesting that this is unlikely to change for the emerging ZEV market. It was argued that the UK market needs to be sustainable and profitable for existing technologies and ZEVs to ensure car makers supply sufficient product to meet the increased demand that any accelerated phase out date would cause.

These respondents also explained that the UK car market is not large enough to sustain domestic manufacturers, with over 70% of cars made here exported. While domestic demand would be a contributing factor in investment decisions, it was argued that increased UK ZEV demand would not be sufficient on its own to secure investment in new models. Existing UK-based manufacturers could therefore struggle to maintain profitability. It was argued this may incentivise the relocation of production for some vehicle manufacturers in the future to other countries, where a higher proportion of non-ZEVs could be produced and sold for longer.

Battery supply was mentioned as a significant barrier to achieving adequate vehicle supply for an accelerated phase out date. It was argued that the increased demand for the extraction of elements, such as cobalt and lithium would be difficult to meet in a faster transition scenario. Respondents made the case that existing mining operations for these materials were unsustainable on the basis of unethical and environmentally unfriendly labour practices, which should be addressed before a widescale global transition to BEVs begins.

Respondents raised the need for both government and vehicle manufacturers to bring consumers with them as part of the petrol and diesel phase out date to ensure they are not adversely impacted by an accelerated transition. These respondents suggested that the relative difficulty of transitioning for different types of consumers should be considered.

It was suggested that for individual consumers, achieving mass market penetration beyond early adopters would be difficult before issues such as upfront price parity, increased model choice and improvement in technology to meet diverse needs of motorists were addressed. Respondents argued individual consumers could hold on to their ICE vehicles for longer if these issues were not addressed, resulting in higher emitting cars and vans on the road for longer, shrinking the size of the UK’s new car and van market. Fleet companies stated that the sector could find it easier to transition to ZEVs as compared to individual consumers. Companies are less restrained by upfront price concerns and more readily factor in the reduced total cost of ownership of ZEVs than consumers.

There were a number of responses that disagreed with setting a phase out date at all. Those respondents felt that we should take a technology neutral approach and let the market provide the end goal of zero emission road transportation. Other respondents saw an earlier phase out date as an important interim milestone to ensure all cars and vans driven are eventually zero emission at the tailpipe. These respondents suggested that, while the phase out date was concerned with new cars and vans, many individual consumers do not purchase their vehicles new and would not be impacted by the phase out date straight away. The second-hand ZEV market would become increasingly important after the phase out date.

Our response

While recognising that there remain several challenges to address, we take the view that transitioning the new car and van market to ZEVs is vital if we are to meet our statutory commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and end our contribution to climate change.

Reflecting on the views submitted, and the need for ambitious action, we have announced a two-phased approach.

  1. Step 1 will see the phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030.
  2. Step 2 will see all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they if they have significant zero emission capability, which would include some plug-in and full hybrids. The significant zero emission capability will be defined through consultation later this year.

The 2050 net zero target is ambitious and requires an equally ambitious plan. Bringing forward the phase out date will lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions from cars and vans. It will play a vital role in ensuring we meet our net zero target, and will help support emission savings for upcoming carbon budgets.

The car and van sector is easier to decarbonise compared to other transport sectors through the combination of a proven low carbon technology that has significant advantages to the existing high carbon technology it replaces, reducing costs and growing consumer demand.

Improved air quality represents another substantial benefit to an accelerated phase out date. Poor air quality poses a significant risk to human health. Air pollution is a particular threat to vulnerable groups including older people, young children and those suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. In 2018, road transport was responsible for on average 74% of concentrations of nitrogen oxides at the roadside, meaning those living near busy roads are most exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution.

As set out in the 2019 Clean Air Strategy, transport has a vital role to play in reducing emissions and meeting our objectives on the environment and public health. For these reasons, we agree with the view of many respondents that better air quality will result from an accelerated phase out date. The main sources of air pollution from ICE vehicles are particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide; tailpipe emissions of these pollutants will be eliminated by transitioning to ZEVs. This is central to our aim of tackling poor air quality in town and city centres in particular, and we welcome the multiplier effect that this will have of incentivising other forms of zero emission transport, such as cycling and walking.

Our ambition is to maintain and grow the already strong UK automotive, energy and chargepoint sectors and put us at the forefront of the global transition to ZEVs. If the UK can lead in the design, manufacture and use of ZEVs, this will bring economic opportunities by stimulating employment, investment and exports. These opportunities will support us to build back better from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Further details on government support that is being provided for these sectors is set out in the ‘What measures should government and others take to achieve an earlier phase out date?’ section.

Based on 2019 levels of UK car production, the Faraday Institution has projected a scenario where the UK produces 1.6 million BEVs a year by 2040. Accelerating the shift to ZEVs could deliver support for around 40,000 new manufacturing jobs by 2030.

Further opportunities in the chargepoint and energy sector will create jobs and enable investment to be spread across the regions and nations of the UK. The global chargepoint industry is due to grow tenfold to £56 billion by 2025. The associated increase in electricity demand will strengthen the need for investment in upgrading the electricity network and building additional generation capacity.

We acknowledge the concerns of some respondents on bringing forward the phase out date from 2040 regarding the infrastructure market, the readiness of the UK and global manufacturing industries and the impact on consumers. These barriers to achieving an earlier phase out date, and the potential impacts on different sections of industry and society are discussed in more detail in the ‘Impacts on society and industry and barriers to achieving an earlier phase out date’ section. We acknowledge that setting a target will not deliver change on its own.

We have already committed £1.5 billion to support the early market and remove barriers to ZEV ownership. We know more must be done to ready the country for mass ZEV ownership and ensure it happens at the pace we want to see. Alongside the new phase out dates we have pledged a further £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles.

This will provide more grants for plug-in vehicles, infrastructure provision across the country and help secure investment in the electric vehicle supply chain, including UK gigafactories. Our funding, supported by proportionate regulation will help ensure our target is delivered. More information on the new measures being introduced is discussed in the ‘What measures should government and others take to achieve an earlier phase out date?’ section.

As we move forward with the transition away from petrol and diesel cars and vans, we will need to ensure that the tax system encourages the uptake of electric vehicles and that revenue from motoring taxes keeps pace with this change, to ensure we can continue to fund the first-class public services and infrastructure that people and families across the UK expect.

The UK is not only taking action domestically but internationally too. Working with our international partners we will boost investment, bring down costs and increase the uptake of ZEVs and the many economic, social and environmental benefits it brings. The COP26 Zero Emission Vehicles campaign aims to double the pace of the transition by encouraging ambitious commitments from businesses, industry, national and sub-national governments.

The campaign will convene governments representing almost half of the global automotive market to create a forum for sustained cooperation, and provide governments with access to international expertise as they make decisions about the long-term direction of their domestic markets.

In setting these new phase out dates we are clear they only apply to the sale of new cars and vans. Vehicle manufacturers will continue to be able to manufacture conventional and hybrid vehicles and components in the UK for export.

Furthermore, the phase out dates do not apply to the use of existing petrol and diesel cars and vans. The sale of used petrol and diesel cars and vans on the second-hand market will still be permitted, and vehicles already registered will continue to be allowed to be driven. We will consider how to avoid the risk that used ICE vehicles are imported for sale in the UK to circumvent the phase out dates.

We are committed to working in partnership with the automotive, energy and chargepoint industries as well as consumers to realise our phase out targets, delivering the environmental and economic benefits for all regions and nations of the UK.

Definition of what should be phased out

This section covers views on the environmental attributes cars and vans would need to have following phase out, including zero emission capability. This section also discusses which of the types of cars and vans described in the consultation (petrol, diesel and hybrid) should be phased out. Much of the debate in responses focused on different types of hybrid vehicles – those with and without a plug, and their respective pros and cons. Some respondents also expressed views on low carbon fuels as a potential solution to reduce lifecycle and tailpipe emissions.

Hybrid technology

Responses referencing hybrids generally referred to 2 broad types of hybrid vehicle – plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). HEVs are conventional petrol or diesel vehicles with an electric propulsion system which can provide greater fuel economy. They have no plug to take power from an external source. Different types of HEVs covered in consultation responses included micro or mild hybrids, which use their electric motors to support the engine only during acceleration and cruising.

Full hybrids allow for the engine to be switched off, propelling the vehicle in battery only mode, when battery charge and driving conditions allow. PHEVs have a battery that can be plugged in and recharged to deliver significant, continuous zero emission mileage, as well as a conventional petrol or diesel engine to power the vehicle. A small number of respondents mentioned range extender electric vehicles (REEVs). REEVs primarily drive using an electric battery, but also have a small auxiliary power unit, usually a petrol or diesel engine, that powers an electric generator to charge the battery.

Hybrid electric vehicles

Respondents from the energy and chargepoint sectors, as well as environmental NGOs, supported the phasing out of HEVs at the same time as ICE vehicles. This was on the basis that the technology does not provide zero emission mileage and also continues to emit significant grams of carbon per kilometre. It was argued that HEVs are not consistent with the level of ambition required to achieve the 2050 net zero emissions target. Those in favour of phasing out HEVs also stated that allowing vehicles that primarily run on conventional fuels would not deliver the same air quality improvements in urban centres as ZEVs.

A minority of respondents, which included a number of vehicle manufacturers, disagreed with phasing out HEVs. It was argued that they provide environmental benefits compared to petrol and diesel vehicles, and full hybrids in particular are able to accommodate substantial driving time and even mileage in zero emissions mode, particularly in urban conditions.

They flagged the potential for future technology development to increase the scale of these environmental benefits. Vehicle manufacturers argued that the effect of phasing out HEVs in the future would disincentivise their purchase by consumers today. This could result in a lost opportunity to significantly curtail carbon emissions in the medium term, and that messaging on interim technologies was crucial.

A number of vehicle manufacturers mentioned that if concerns around inadequate battery supply materialise as wider uptake of BEVs continues, then HEVs could serve an important transitionary function while a sustainable supply of batteries is established. It was argued that allowing HEVs to be sold would allow the UK to keep driving down emissions in the medium term as progress continues to be made with sustainable ZEV supply, and would mean the UK is not dependent on any one type of technology.

This was underlined by the growth of the HEV market, as European car makers are shifting to HEV technologies to meet regulated CO2 emissions targets over the coming years. HEVs outsold both BEVs and PHEVs in 2020, with demand likely to grow over the decade. It was argued this will reduce carbon emissions significantly in the coming years, as well as provide investment in UK vehicle manufacturing.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Views on the phase out of PHEVs were more varied. The majority of vehicle manufacturers made the case that PHEVs offer significant zero emission mileage while providing consumers the opportunity to become accustomed to operating plug-in vehicles. The case was made that, because PHEVs have smaller batteries than BEVs, but could still have significant zero emission ranges, they could deliver a lower lifecycle emissions profile than a BEV only solution. These respondents supported a spectrum of proposals, ranging from PHEVs not being phased out at all, to PHEVs being phased out to a longer timeframe than petrol and diesel vehicles.

Arguments in favour of phasing out PHEVs included the delay that would occur in realising the benefits of transitioning to ZEVs. Respondents argued that by continuing to allow new PHEVs to enter the market, the fleet will continue to rely on petrol and diesel and therefore continue the negative consequences of carbon tailpipe emissions and poor air quality which that would entail.

Despite the ability to run in zero emission mode, respondents said it would be difficult to mandate consumers to predominantly use the battery; some consumers may regularly run PHEVs in petrol or diesel mode, contributing to emissions. Given the additional weight of the battery, PHEVs are less fuel efficient than lighter conventionally fuelled equivalents when driving on their petrol or diesel engine. Therefore, without regular charging and use of the battery, PHEVs would be detrimental to carbon reduction targets.

Energy and chargepoint provider respondents noted that larger numbers of PHEVs and HEVs on the road, as opposed to BEVs, could delay the maturation of the infrastructure market. Fewer BEVs would reduce the commercial case for the private sector to invest in widespread charging infrastructure, ensuring that the current issues would remain for longer and consumer confidence would take longer to improve. Conversely, they argued that a clear phase out date for conventional and hybrid vehicles would accelerate investment in the energy and chargepoint sectors.

Some respondents said there would be manufacturing benefits to switching straight to ZEVs. This would avoid split investment in 2 technologies, and the need to maintain a complex supply chain to serve 2 different model types. Phasing out PHEVs at the same time as petrol and diesel cars and vans would provide certainty and a clear direction to the market, to which they could respond.

A small number of respondents acknowledged the role of PHEVs in changing consumer behaviour but argued that REEVs could achieve the same aim and achieve greater tailpipe emission savings. It was argued that because the small combustion engine only serves to charge the battery, and not to power the wheels directly, it could drive consumer acceptance of BEVs and charging behaviour.

A number of respondents believed that PHEVs have several benefits compared to conventional ICE vehicles and therefore should not be phased out at the same time. Vehicle manufacturers and consumer groups raised concerns that up front price parity between ZEVs and equivalent ICE vehicles would not be reached before an earlier phase out date. These respondents noted that PHEVs could be an affordable alternative to ZEVs, avoiding a situation where consumers unable to afford a ZEV would hold on to older ICE vehicles for longer, increasing emissions in the short and medium term.

By allowing PHEVs for longer, there would be more time for up front price parity between ZEVs and ICE vehicles to be achieved. However, this was not a universally shared view, and many made the point that PHEV models on sale today are similar in price to ZEVs and PHEVs could become increasingly expensive as they have 2 powertrains (for example an engine and a battery). It was argued that the favourable total cost of ownership for ZEVs would make them less expensive than PHEVs, which will still require refuelling with petrol or diesel, by the time of the phase out dates.

Consumer group and vehicle manufacturer respondents raised the role of PHEVs in driving consumer acceptance of BEVsPHEVs provide consumers the opportunity to become accustomed to owning a part-electric vehicle which requires both charging and fuelling. This PHEV experience could foster widespread confidence in battery technology, and could encourage a subsequent BEV purchase. This is borne out in data which was submitted as part of the consultation demonstrating that PHEV drivers are more likely than ICE vehicle drivers to consider a BEV.

Another argument raised in favour of PHEVs by some vehicle manufacturers is that they ease the pressure on battery demand outstripping supply in the medium term, allowing more time for sustainable battery production to be achieved. The same case was made for the public charging network and electricity grid.

Vehicle manufacturers and supply chain companies observed that some vehicle manufacturers will soon be setting future product strategies for the early 2030s, many of which will include plans to sell PHEVs in the UK to that timescale. If the phase out of PHEVs is brought forward considerably, manufacturers will have less time to devise a new production strategy that consists of solely ZEV manufacture.

This would raise further concerns surrounding vehicle supply, which are discussed in the ‘Impacts on society and industry and barriers to achieving an earlier phase out date’ section. In addition, it was argued ending the sale of PHEVs would limit incentives to invest in developing cleaner PHEVs and development of ZEVs for manufacturers, which can depend on the ability to cross-subsidise from profitable product lines, such as sale of ICE vehicles.


Environmental NGOs made the case that phasing out ICE vans and transitioning them to PHEV and ZEV technologies would have a significant positive impact in curtailing carbon emissions and air pollutants. Some manufacturers explained that they had already had initial success in selling zero emission vans to fleet operators, and indicated that they expected further demand to develop in the near future. To address this anticipated increase in demand, these respondents urged government to support the growing market further.

Motoring association and fleet operator respondents proposed that the viability of producing zero emission vans to the same performance capability of ICE equivalent vans would be difficult. It was noted that commercial vehicles have a wide variety of different uses and requirements which may not be easily served by the current zero emission van technology. Vehicle range is one example where a diesel van is currently superior to a ZEV equivalent and could be better suited for fleets that are in constant use or cover a lot of mileage.

The need for auxiliary power (for example for refrigeration or hydraulics), either for use during a van’s journey or at the roadside, may also mean larger batteries are required which could reduce payload, or range could be sacrificed.

Respondents in the vehicle rental sector, as well as trade associations, argued that until zero emission vans could meet the range of use cases, plug-in hybrid vans should be phased out later than plug-in hybrid passenger cars. Others stated that fully zero emission vans could be produced at the same time as zero emission cars, with some respondents pointing to the increasing range of zero emission van models.

Concerns were raised regarding the adequate expansion of the zero emission van market, with some respondents stating that the van market is constrained by supply as much as it is by demand. Supply capacity therefore needs to be expanded significantly to meet growing demand. Until recently zero emission van production has been largely focussed on small vans, which makes up around 20% of the UK van market, with very little production in the 2.5 to 3.5 tonne segment of the market, which accounts for 50% of all UK vans. However, 2020 saw 9 new fully electric models of larger van models brought to market, showing that the market is rapidly maturing.


The role of FCEVs in supporting the delivery of an earlier phase-out date was another topic raised by respondents. FCEVs use a similar powertrain to BEVs but energy stored onboard as hydrogen is converted to electricity by a fuel cell.

Some vehicle manufacturer and energy sector respondents suggested that hydrogen could serve as a foundation for a zero-carbon future for cars and vans. They made the case that we had focused less on development of FCEV refuelling infrastructure than BEV charging infrastructure, and should commit to long-term investment to incentivise wider uptake of FCEVs as an alternative. Hydrogen has a higher energy density compared to current battery technology. This was cited as a reason for government to support FCEVs for heavier vehicles or specialised usage vehicles, which battery technology may be less suited to.

Low carbon fuels

Some vehicle manufacturer and energy sector respondents suggested that, to pursue the decarbonisation of transport, wider adoption of low carbon and carbon neutral fuels for use in ICE vehicles could provide an alternative to petrol and diesel phase out. They suggested low carbon fuels, as a substitute for petrol and diesel, used in ICE or hybrid vehicles, can reduce overall emissions from those vehicles, though still emit carbon dioxide and air pollutants from the tailpipe.

They could be carbon negative during the manufacturing stage, through utilisation of carbon capture and storage facilities. If carbon negative during production, despite still emitting once in use, fuels could be considered carbon neutral and therefore it was argued they could be in line with our net zero commitment. It was noted that greater take up of low carbon fuels would help decarbonise the current car and van fleet, without the need to shift to BEVs and produce large batteries.

These respondents noted some areas of the market such as high-performance vehicles, heavy vans and specialist vehicles may not be able to transition to ZEVs as fast as other vehicle segments. In the case of high performance cars, manufacturers stated that current ZEV technology is not able to provide the same level of performance, and is not expected to be developed in time for a phase out date in the 2030s. Respondents were therefore critical of an announcement to bring forward the phase out of petrol and diesel vehicles, prior to viable alternatives being made available for several vehicle types.

While high performance vehicle manufacturers comprise a small section of the market, concerns were raised about the viability of high-skilled engineering and research and development (R&D) jobs if technologies compatible with high performance vehicles were phased out before a ZEV equivalent was available. High performance vehicle manufacturing represents an innovative section of the market, and advances made are often adopted for passenger cars and other areas of transport.

In the absence of the necessary innovation in the area of battery production, it was argued that low carbon and carbon neutral fuels could provide an alternative for these vehicles while contributing to net zero ambitions. Respondents proposed that the UK should commit to becoming a centre of development for such fuels.

Technology neutrality

A theme of responses discussing what should be phased out was that of ‘technology neutrality’. Some vehicle manufacturers and other bodies argued that we should not phase out any particular type of technology and the market should be left to innovate and develop solutions for achieving the 2050 net zero emissions target. This would mean not phasing out ICE vehicles or hybrids if technological developments could enable them to emit zero emissions at the tailpipe within a timeframe that would satisfy the 2050 target. Some specifically suggested that including any specific technology as part of a phase out would be too narrow in scope and would stifle innovation.

In contrast, a number of respondents stated that we have an important role in providing direction to the market and ensuring action is taken to meet environmental targets at pace. It was argued that setting an earlier phase out date offers clarity and certainty for investment decisions into sectors that are critical for the transition to ZEVs, such as the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Our response

There were strong and conflicting views on the definition of what technologies and vehicles should be phased out or not, in particular the question of whether HEVs and PHEVs should be phased out. We will continue to take a technology neutral approach to meeting our ambitions. However, the technologies on sale, and the market share of those technologies, must be compatible with achieving our 2050 net zero climate change target and our long-term air quality goals.

Hybrid vehicles, of all variants, can be an important technology in reducing emissions from road transport. The environmental benefits of these vehicles depend on their use and zero emission capability among other factors. However, they are among the cleanest vehicles on the market today and will contribute to our interim carbon reduction targets in the coming years. PHEVs, in particular, contribute to changing consumer behaviour in the way they fuel their vehicles and increase confidence in battery technology if regularly plugged in. One independent study was submitted that shows that HEVs are able achieve significant proportions of mileage and time in zero emission mode.

Our ambition is for zero tailpipe emissions from cars and vans. We are not alone in seeking a zero emission future; the automotive industry is investing billions into new technology over the coming years to achieve this aim. Our focus on zero tailpipe emissions is why we have decided to bring forward the phase out date for new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030. We acknowledge that time is required for manufacturers and consumers to ensure all segments of the car and van market are fully zero emission at the tailpipe, and that transitionary technologies have an important role. Therefore, from 2030 to 2035, technologies that emit from the tailpipe can be sold, if they if they have significant zero emission capability, which would include some plug-in and full hybrids.

The significant zero emission capability requirement will be defined following consultation later this year, to ensure it aids the transition to fully zero emission vehicles and contributes to environmental targets.

From 2035, zero must mean zero for greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions from new cars and vans. We do not take a view on what specific technologies will deliver this target, but we are clear on the outcome we are seeking. This will provide time for the entire car and van fleet to transition prior to 2050.

To achieve necessary carbon savings, it is important that vans are phased out at the same time as passenger cars. Petrol and diesel vans emit substantial amounts of carbon, with diesel vans also significantly reducing air quality. There are positive signs that the ultra-low emission van market will grow significantly, with registrations of these vehicles over 60% higher between January and September 2020 (3,828) than in the same period in 2019 (2,345).

We expect this upward trend to continue with new models coming to the market from major manufacturers and growing interest from major fleet operators (for example, major supermarkets and delivery companies) to replace their ICE fleets with zero emission options. Technology is continuing to improve and we expect solutions for a zero emission van fleet transition to be ready by the phase out dates. The phase out dates will apply to N1 category vans (vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes). We will consult on a date for phasing out the sale of new diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) this year.

We acknowledge that certain segments of the market will find this ambition challenging. We will therefore consider a very limited range of derogations for specialist vehicles, including military service and emergency vehicles, and for parts of the market which may need further time to transition, such as small volume manufacturers. We will consult on these derogations in due course.

We are positive about the prospects for fuel cell technology and in particular the role for green hydrogen in an overall decarbonised transport system. It is likely to have its largest role in difficult to decarbonise sectors and in heavier vehicles.

The market for light duty FCEVs is less mature than BEVs, with still only around 250 FCEVs in the UK, including cars (three models), vans (one model) and buses, compared to around 300,000 plug-in electric vehicles. We have supported the development of the 13 Hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) in the UK, and, although in its infancy, we have one of the largest publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling station networks for road vehicles in Europe.

This has been supported by our Hydrogen for Transport Programme (HTP), which is providing £23 million of grant funding to increase the uptake of FCEVs and to continue to grow the number of publicly accessible HRS. In addition, our £2 million FCEV Fleet Support Scheme has supported both public and private sector fleets to become early adopters of hydrogen cars and vans.

In their 2019 progress report, the CCC gave support for the development of a hydrogen economy for energy-dense transport applications, such as for powering HGVs. We also acknowledge that some vehicle manufacturer respondents suggested that hydrogen could offer a long-term solution in the freight, and bus sectors. We are supporting the delivery of greener buses through the low and ultra low emission bus schemes, which provide funding for hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as assessing the options for freight decarbonisation. We are funding a wide range of innovation projects in hydrogen vehicles across the technology readiness levels and different use cases.

In September 2020, we outlined plans for a cross-sectoral hydrogen strategy, which will set out an action plan for decarbonisation and expansion in the 2020s, most notably how we will continue to support the scale up of low carbon hydrogen production and stimulate demand.

We agree that low carbon fuels have an important role to play in emission reduction across the transport sector, and will set out more details of our plans to support low carbon fuels to decarbonise the existing fleet of ICE vehicles in the forthcoming transport decarbonisation plan. We are stimulating the supply of low carbon fuels through our Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, which requires fuel suppliers to source an increasing percentage of fuel from renewable, low carbon and sustainable sources including renewable hydrogen.

However, for new cars and vans sold from 2035 onwards, our view is that low carbon fuels cannot be used as part of meeting the zero emissions from the tailpipe requirement. While they provide significant emissions savings, these savings can vary between different fuels. Overall use, particularly in the case of biofuels, is limited by the availability of genuinely sustainable biomass.

Promoting the use of such fuels beyond sustainable levels could increase rather than save carbon emissions. Low carbon fuels can still contribute to poor air quality via tailpipe emissions in towns and cities, in contrast to the improvement in air quality expected from wider ZEV uptake. Furthermore, given the relative scarcity of these fuels, their longer-term use should be prioritised for harder to decarbonise sectors, especially aviation and shipping – though in the immediate future they will remain important in supporting emission reductions from existing cars and vans.

In conclusion, we are not outcome neutral. We are clear the end point must be zero emission, but we recognise the benefits of a range of different types of advanced technologies that are not zero emission at the tailpipe in reducing emissions of new vehicles in the lead up to the 2035 phase out date.

Impacts on society and industry and barriers to achieving an earlier phase out date

The consultation encouraged respondents to consider barriers to an accelerated phase out date, as well as the impacts on different sections of society and industry. Most impacts identified were also considered barriers to achieving an earlier phase out date. This section therefore covers responses to both issues. A wide range of issues were raised by respondents. Major themes and common responses have been summarised. For this section, the government response follows each topic.

The transition to zero emission road transport is the biggest transformation seen since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Change on this scale inevitably brings numerous challenges, as the responses and dialogue during the consultation period have made clear. We acknowledge these. We expect the transition to be industry and consumer led. Government will play its part, however, with investment, regulation and other policy levers, to support mass adoption of ZEVs. We are committed to working with industry, businesses, academia, environmental groups and other NGOs, devolved administrations, local government and consumers to deliver a zero-emission future for the UK.

Impact on manufacturing and vehicle supply

The impact on the UK’s incumbent automotive manufacturing industry, as well as the global industry’s ability to deliver sufficient vehicle supply, was discussed in many responses. Despite agreement between us and the automotive sector that we must achieve net zero carbon emissions, several respondents thought that the scale and pace of the change would have adverse impacts on the industry. It was stressed that only around 10% of UK vehicle manufacturing is made up of ZEVs, and that a substantial supply chain transition would be required to accommodate the end of the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Vehicle manufacturers suggested that if UK battery manufacturing did not materialise, this would have an impact on the manufacturing of BEVs here. Batteries comprise one-third of the value of BEVs and account for 60% of content for export purposes. Battery transportation costs are substantial, meaning manufacturers are increasingly looking to locate vehicle manufacturing close to the battery manufacturing supply chain. It was argued that vehicle manufacturers may therefore decide to relocate existing UK-based production to markets that have developed a robust battery manufacturing supply chain.

It was mentioned that profits derived from ICE vehicles, HEVs and PHEVs currently in development were envisaged by vehicle manufacturers to fund the transition to widescale ZEV production. Respondents also argued that, if manufacturers were to move their manufacturing operations abroad because of a lack of UK domestic demand for their hybrid vehicle production, this would have a negative impact on UK manufacturing employment. By bringing forward the phase out dates, the timeframe within which to sell these vehicles will be reduced. This could hamper vehicle manufacturers’ ability to transition to exclusive ZEV production.

However, some respondents stated that declining investment in the incumbent technology is a natural part of the transformation of the automotive industry, which is investing billions in electrification. By bringing forward the phase out date, UK manufacturing could be at the forefront of this transition.

It was observed that the product development cycle of vehicles is around 6 years, meaning that bringing forward the phase out date by 5 years or more would have a significant impact on the business plans of vehicle manufacturers. For many manufacturers, the decision-making process for production of models to be made from 2024 has already begun. Respondents suggested that while bringing forward the phase out date would have little influence on global manufacturing decisions, it may negatively influence manufacturers’ production decisions for future ICE vehicles and hybrids where a UK location is in competition with another European plant.

Investment in future ZEV models would be stronger with an existing manufacturing base of hybrids in the UK. Some respondents were concerned that the asymmetry between the UK’s accelerated manufacturing transition compared to global manufacturing timescales would cause problems in achieving the requisite vehicle supply in the UK. It was argued domestic supply would not meet anticipated demand and global manufacturing would be needed to provide vehicles.

Responses also discussed the impact of the transition to mass production of ZEVs on the global automotive industry. Concerns were raised about vehicle manufacturers’ ability to provide an adequate supply of ZEVs to sustain the new car and van markets following the end of the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles. Respondents noted that the supply chain transition required globally to accommodate an earlier phase out of new petrol and diesel vehicles will require significant investment by vehicle manufacturers. Without clear and growing consumer demand, manufacturers may not supply the required level of ZEVs.

Some environmental NGOs and energy companies suggested that vehicle supply would not be an issue. It was observed that waiting times for BEVs had declined in the last year, indicating that supply was on a positive trajectory towards meeting growing demand. It was also argued that establishing targeted regulations would ensure adequate vehicle supply to the market.

These respondents cited the CCC 2020 progress report which recommended more ambitious regulations on car and van carbon emissions up to 2030, suggesting that this could help provide certainty to manufacturers on the extent of the supply transition required by industry to reach an earlier phase out date. It was proposed that regulation could mandate the percentage of the manufacturers fleet that must be zero emission and that this would increase over the period leading to the new phase out dates (a “zero emission vehicle mandate” as recommended by the CCC).

Our response: impact on manufacturing and vehicle supply

We recognise the substantial challenge facing vehicle manufacturers in shifting their supply chain from predominantly ICE vehicles production to ZEVs and PHEVs. The UK is the fifth largest car maker in Europe, and the domestic market is important even if over 70% of UK production is exported. Bringing forward the phase out dates will contribute to increasing the demand for ZEVs from UK consumers. This will make the UK a more attractive environment for vehicle manufacturers to produce and sell ZEVs. This may have a positive effect on some manufacturers’ global plans for electrification of their vehicles, particularly with other jurisdictions setting targets and bring forward phase-out dates. There may also be benefits for UK exports.

We also recognise that this transition will have a significant impact on the existing automotive manufacturing sector, with many jobs needing to be transformed to adjust to new manufacturing practices. Bringing forward the phase out dates, alongside government support, will generate new employment opportunities in the BEV supply chain, as well as in the chargepoint and energy industries.

Development of a UK supply chain for BEVs, including battery manufacturing, is a top strategic priority for us. We have announced nearly £500 million of funding for the Automotive Transformation Fund, as part of a wider commitment of up to £1 billion to develop UK supply chains for the large-scale production of BEVs and to support further research and development.

This will protect existing jobs, including in the West Midlands, Wales and the north and support thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK. £10 million has already been made available for the first wave of innovative R&D feasibility studies to scale up manufacturing of the latest technology in batteries, motors, electronics and fuel cells. We are working both in the UK and overseas on the opportunity of attracting foreign direct investment in to the UK BEV supply chain.

The concerns regarding vehicle supply are understood by us. Progress has been made and we are seeing long waiting lists for certain foreign built BEV models come down as the automotive industry has established new supply chains. We want to see supply chains scale up further to meet demand with a wider choice of UK-built BEVs.

We also recognise the importance of working with industry to ensure that the phase out dates are achieved. In the coming months, we will be publishing a green paper to consider the post EU regulatory regime for CO2 emissions from new road vehicles. This will consider both overall fleet efficiency and delivering the move to 100% ZEV sales for cars and vans.

Battery and raw material supply

A number of barriers were raised by respondents concerning battery and raw material supply. While the barriers mentioned exist today, it was argued that an earlier phase out date would exacerbate these issues.

Many responses discussed the supply of raw materials that would be required for an accelerated phase out date. The dominant battery technology for BEVs today is the lithium-ion battery, of which lithium and cobalt are the main components. In addition, minerals including rare earth metals such as neodymium and dysprosium are present in electric motors. Issues surrounding scarcity and lack of availability of minerals for batteries and motors were raised with some respondents concerned that global demand could outstrip supply. The high cost of mining these materials, as well as geopolitical issues with the location of these materials, were raised as barriers to increasing and sustaining the required level of supply.

Some respondents also suggested an accelerated phase out date could lead to geological depletion of raw materials. However, research by the Faraday Institution has found there are more than enough raw materials to meet demand for the UK and global markets to at least 2050 – by which time, battery recycling will be able to deliver significant volumes of key battery raw materials for future production requirements. The Faraday Institution highlighted that the challenge isn’t whether there are enough resources geologically, but in scaling up annual production levels and addressing supply chain issues. They suggest that growing global BEV demand, and accompanying action to mitigate and manage supply chain risks, would result in more robust and increasingly sustainable raw material supply.

A number of concerns were raised in regard to mining conditions for battery minerals, in particular, in relation to cobalt extraction practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC has the largest reserves of cobalt in any country in the world. Concerns were raised around unsafe working conditions, poor worker remuneration and use of child labour. Respondents raised concerns that these exploitative practices could be exacerbated as global demand for cobalt increases.

A further concern raised was the local environmental degradation resulting from cobalt mining, such as the release of harmful dusts derived from cobalt extraction, which in some cases can include toxic metals such as uranium. Respondents therefore argued that an accelerated phase out date should not be sought until an ethically and environmentally sustainable supply chain develops for this increased demand.

The arguments put forward on mineral supply were complemented by the need to do more on battery and mineral recycling. Some respondents argued the lack of recycling capacity would cause an accumulation of battery waste. Others proposed battery recycling and second life uses for batteries (such as static power storage) as solutions to mineral and battery supply concerns and a key way to make the BEV industry more sustainable. Some supported an earlier phase out date on the basis that it would accelerate these necessary developments in battery recycling, as market forces would work to meet the new high demand for raw minerals and a supply of batteries would be needed to ensure the recycling process was commercially viable.

In addition to supply of minerals, supply of battery packs was raised as a barrier to realising an accelerated phase out date. In particular, the lack of UK-based battery manufacturing was noted by some respondents as problematic for the upfront price and supply of BEVs. Some argued that sustained dependency on battery imports from China leaves global supply concentrated in one country with ramifications for resource security.

It followed that ongoing reliance on imports would continue to incur significant costs for UK manufacturers, as well as increasing the complexity and risking the resilience of supply chains. This might keep BEV prices high, disincentivising wider uptake. Some respondents called for a domestic and localised battery supply chain, which would reduce prices and production complexities, as well as support jobs and economic growth. They stressed the need for a number of UK gigafactories to accommodate the large increase in battery requirements, as well as increased support for R&D in battery technologies.

Our response: battery and raw material supply

We acknowledge the social, ethical, environmental and supply concerns regarding the raw materials for batteries and are working hard to address these.

Evidence from the Faraday Institution has shown that the geological availability of lithium, cobalt and rare earth metals is sufficient to meet increased demand for BEVs. Based on these findings, these materials are unlikely to be depleted as part of the transition, although short term supply constraints are a possibility. The expected global increase in BEV uptake over the next 10 years will facilitate a more robust vehicle supply chain, with sustainable raw material supply accommodating this increase in demand. Increased investment will be required by mining companies to reflect the transition to ZEVs globally.

The ethical issues surrounding mining are of significant concern to us, in particular reports of human rights abuses and risks of modern slavery in cobalt supply chains. While identifying and tackling these risks is a long-term challenge, in the DRC, where the world’s supply of cobalt is most heavily concentrated, we are currently working to improve the sector and prevent human rights abuses, by focusing on strengthened transparency, improved governance, and resolution of complex challenges around artisanally mined cobalt.

This includes working with civil society and mining companies, and through programmes that develop innovative approaches to ending child labour and human rights abuses. The UK is committed to ending modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking worldwide by 2030, including the eradication of child labour, as unanimously adopted in the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The UK (through the Faraday Institution) participates in the Global Battery Alliance – a world economic forum initiative seeking to address the human, health and environmental challenges of batteries. This will catalyse and accelerate international action towards a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and innovative battery supply chain.

We provide support for UK-based miners and the mining supply chain when doing business overseas to ensure responsible sourcing of battery materials. We are also supporting initiatives to localise more of the electric vehicle and battery supply chain to the UK. For example, the Faraday Battery Challenge is funding a feasibility study into developing a UK supply of lithium in Cornwall.

There is an opportunity for the UK to address sustainability concerns with raw materials and battery supply, while growing the UK battery manufacturing and recycling industry. We have already committed £274 million of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to the Faraday Battery Challenge, with an additional sum of £43 million announced in September 2020.

This funding will support the research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK. The Faraday Battery Challenge is funding research to reduce our dependency on raw mineral supply and make better use of global resources. This includes looking at how to reduce and replace critical raw materials, such as cobalt, in lithium-ion batteries. The Faraday Battery Challenge and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are also supporting the circular economy for electric vehicle batteries to further reduce lifecycle impacts of BEVs in the UK.

Second-life applications for BEV batteries extract maximum economic value and minimise environmental impacts. BEV batteries have performance guarantees of around 8 years (or 100,000 miles), but can last much longer depending on vehicle use. New BEVs on roads today will typically be in use for another 10 to 15 years. This is improving with the advance of battery pack management technologies. When BEVs reach end-of-life, remaining battery storage capacity is expected to be over 70%.

This is sufficient for second life applications, such as home energy storage, where the capacity-to-weight ratio is of lower importance. Second-life BEV batteries in domestic and industrial stationary energy storage systems could play an important role in the UK’s transition to a smart and flexible energy system with net zero emissions by 2050. Batteries needing to be recycled in the course of the 2020s will be based on a relatively low volume of BEV sales from the 2010s. Batteries will not be expected to be recycled en masse until the 2030s.

Battery recycling could provide a valuable secondary resource for critical raw minerals. Our objectives are to develop cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe and recyclable batteries for this growing market.

The Faraday Battery Challenge is playing a leading role in promoting the reuse and recycling of battery components in the UK. The Faraday Institution’s £10 million ‘ReLib’ research project is developing the technological, economic and legal infrastructure to allow close to 100% of the materials in lithium-ion batteries to be reused or recycled.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is reviewing the legislation that applies to waste battery recycling, as part of the 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy. This will consider the changes needed to provide an appropriate legal framework governing increasing numbers of BEV batteries. The Faraday Battery Challenge includes the target to increase the recyclability of battery packs from between 10% to 50% today to 95% by 2035.

Non tailpipe emissions

A number of respondents argued that an early phase out date would increase carbon emissions from mining, battery manufacturing and electricity generation in the medium term. As a result, it was argued BEVs may not be a materially cleaner technology than PHEVs or ICE vehicles over the whole lifecycle of the vehicle.

The upfront carbon emissions associated with producing batteries was the main concern raised by respondents. These respondents advocated for a technology neutral approach focused on promoting vehicles based on their lifetime emissions, as opposed to just tailpipe emissions. Respondents argued that ICE vehicles could be cleaner than BEVs once the emissions impact of battery and electricity production is taken into account.

Other respondents disagreed, explaining that the carbon savings over the lifecycle of a BEV, as compared to an ICE vehicle, already more than offset the upfront carbon emissions required to produce the vehicle. It was argued that unlike petrol or diesel vehicles, this will improve with time as the electricity for producing batteries and recharging BEVs becomes cleaner. These respondents argued that, combined with the continued development of battery recycling capability, up front carbon emissions from mining would be minimised, further improving the lifetime emissions profile of BEV technology.

Some respondents also argued that as BEVs tend to be heavier than ICE vehicles due to their batteries, this would generate increased tyre wear and brake emissions. Some of these respondents argued that these emissions can potentially be worse for air quality than tailpipe emissions. Other respondents disagreed that brake wear would be higher for BEVs, citing the regenerative braking mechanism which limits the speed of BEVs by storing surplus kinetic energy and significantly reduces the requirement for manual braking and associated brake dust.

Our response: non-tailpipe emissions

We acknowledge the concerns raised around non-tailpipe emissions. However, analysis has shown that, even when taking into consideration the impact of manufacturing and power emissions, BEVs are far more environmentally friendly than ICE equivalents.

The Transport Energy Model (TEM), developed by the Department for Transport (DfT), assesses air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions of different fuel and powertrain options. Findings from the TEM show that, based on the UK’s 2017 electricity mix, for a typical medium car travelling at 34 km/hour, emissions (from energy production and use) for a BEV were 66% lower than for a petrol car and 60% lower than for a diesel car.

While the TEM does not include emissions from vehicle production, subsequent analysis has found that current emissions from battery production are estimated as a global average to be 3 tonnes of CO2 for a 39 kWh battery[footnote 1]CCC analysis shows that BEVs have lower lifecycle emissions, saving 35 tonnes of CO2 compared to equivalent ICE vehicles. The same analysis found that BEVs in the UK repay the carbon debt from the production of the battery in just over a year.

Furthermore, unlike petrol or diesel vehicles, BEVs will become cleaner over the course of their lifetime, as the UK’s electricity mix becomes cleaner, with the proportion of coal decreasing and renewable energy increasing. Thirty years ago, fossil fuels provided nearly 80% of electricity supply. Today, the country produces over 50% of its power from low-carbon technologies, and the carbon intensity of electricity has halved in the 5 years to 2019. Recent analysis has indicated that the UK has one of the cleanest electricity mixes in Europe[footnote 2], and we will continue to support the UK’s transition to clean power.

The UK’s transition to clean power will ensure the greenhouse gas emissions from UK built vehicles will reduce. This will make the UK an increasingly attractive place to produce electric batteries. Battery recycling will also reduce emissions associated with mining operations for required minerals, contributing to making battery production a sustainable industry.

For BEVs to be zero emission end to end, battery and vehicle manufacturing will need to be decarbonised. In the UK, our commitment to net zero will ensure that happens for UK produced vehicles and batteries.

The UK is acting internationally too; the new Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council, which comprises ministers and representatives from some of the world’s largest and most progressive car markets, met for the first time in November 2020. Through collaboration the council aims to address the shared barriers that countries face and increase ambition internationally regarding the transition to ZEVs. Hosted by COP26 President, Alok Sharma, the joint statement released from the meeting included the commitment to exploring scientific opportunities for collaboration in ensuring the lifecycle (from production to scrapping) of ZEVs is sustainable and inclusive.

Furthermore, as part of our presidency of COP26 we are encouraging other countries to establish ambitious climate plans to ensure net zero emissions are achieved as soon as possible. Under the COP26 banner, the UK works to emphasise the economic and social benefits of cheaper, renewable energy. This initiative in turn will complement and accelerate the eventual aim of BEVs becoming zero emission end to end.

We recognise that a transition to cars and vans that are zero emission at the tailpipe, and increasingly charge using green electricity, will not address brake, tyre and road wear. In July 2018, we published a call for evidence to improve our understanding of the extent and impact of emissions from brake, tyre and road wear and potential ways to address them, to inform future policy development on air quality.

The information received informed a review of these emission sources led by the Air Quality Expert Group which was published in July 2019. As described in this report, the increased mass of BEVs could potentially increase tyre and road wear, whereas the use of regenerative braking could reduce braking emissions. It is unknown which effect will dominate, and therefore how BEV non-exhaust emissions will compare to those of petrol and diesel vehicles.

We will commence a research project aimed at filling the knowledge gaps in the measurement of non-exhaust emissions from road vehicles, including BEVs. The knowledge developed in this project will inform what policy and legislation may be required to control and reduce these emissions. We are also working with international partners to develop procedures to test and evaluate emissions from tyre and brake wear, with the potential to produce future regulatory standards.

While work is ongoing in this area, government will continue to drive forward the transition to zero tailpipe emissions.


Almost all respondents from all major stakeholder groups highlighted the necessity of a faster roll out of charging infrastructure that covers all areas of the UK. Some respondents mentioned that FCEV refuelling infrastructure should be substantially increased to support the FCEV market in its infancy. It was argued that without significant improvements in infrastructure provision, consumers would not have the confidence to make the switch to zero emission transport.

While generally accepting that more was needed on infrastructure, other respondents raised the strength of the current market, observing that chargepoints were being rolled out at pace, including rapid chargepoints. These respondents suggested that the lack of chargepoints is sometimes a perceived barrier, with greater availability of information to consumers of the existing charging network required to resolve this.

Provision of charging infrastructure in a number of specific areas, such as the strategic road network (SRN) and on-street residential areas, were raised as barriers to mass adoption of BEVs that would need to be addressed to achieve the new phase out dates. Increased provision of local charging hubs and destination charging were also supported by respondents, to ensure wider uptake of BEVs. Public chargepoint provision in rural areas was perceived as weak by respondents, with some suggesting the establishment of a minimum level of chargepoints in such areas.

The provision of rapid charging points on motorways and the SRN was listed as a barrier by some respondents. Consumers must feel confident that there is adequate rapid charging coverage to enable long distance journeys to be carried out. Without a significant expansion of these chargepoints, it was argued that range anxiety would remain an issue for consumers.

The lack of provision of chargepoints for those without off-street parking was cited as a concern. Respondents noted that for those living in accommodation without off-street parking, such as in flats or terraced houses, charging can be both less convenient and costlier than for those who have access to off-street parking. This could limit the uptake of vehicles for those in this situation, which represents as many as 33% of dwellings in England.

Vehicle manufacturer and trade association respondents suggested that local authorities should have a greater role in supporting the rollout of charging infrastructure. It was argued that central government should provide technical and strategic guidance to local authorities on how to do this, with financial support provided where appropriate to realise local charging needs. This would help provide local authorities with the capacity and capability to address growing demand for charging infrastructure, particularly in rural areas where they would be able to determine where electric chargepoints are most needed.

Respondents from the chargepoint sector also advocated government support for greater levels of on-street and public charging infrastructure to enable a greater proportion of consumers to transition to BEVs, with further chargepoint installations in car parks to increase consumer confidence also suggested.

Respondents raised the issue of infrastructure roll out being impeded by the high cost of upgrading the grid connection to provide the electrical capacity needed for charging. This can make the commercial case unviable for rolling out infrastructure along the strategic road network, at destination locations and within fleet depots. In the case of fleet depots, it was observed that many businesses rent their depot, and therefore would likely not see long term benefits from the large investment in grid connections required to install infrastructure. Respondents noted fleets represented almost 60% of all new car and van sales in 2019 and have an important role in feeding the second hand market. Therefore, issues with infrastructure may prevent a large number of further cars and vans transitioning to BEVs.

Respondents also raised issues related to the consumer experience of chargepoint infrastructure relative to the existing convenience of ICE vehicle refuelling. Respondents highlighted the need for standardised pricing and payment mechanisms – this would improve the lack of payment interoperability of different electric chargepoint networks, with BEV users needing to hold phone apps or radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards with multiple different providers to use their services.

The reliability of existing charging infrastructure was also mentioned, with high levels of out of service changepoints serving to diminish consumer confidence and demand for BEVs.

Our response: infrastructure

Government funding for infrastructure has helped achieve the strong progress seen to date. In partnership with local authorities and private sector investment, we have seen over 150,000 chargepoints installed in homes, over 13,000 at workplaces and 20,000 in public places including over 3,900 rapid chargers.

There is more to do and we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge. We acknowledge that infrastructure is vital to reduce range anxiety and convince consumers to make the switch to BEVs. Infrastructure was the most common barrier raised by respondents, which is shared by two-thirds of motorists. Our vision is to have one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world.

This means a network for current and prospective electric vehicle drivers that is affordable, reliable, accessible and secure. We are taking further measures to remove infrastructure barriers and boost BEV ownership: these are discussed in detail in the ‘What measures should government and others take to achieve an earlier phase out date?’ section.

We agree that local authorities have a crucial role to play to support the uptake of BEVs in their areas, through enabling charging infrastructure and in wider policies and leadership. We note local capacity and capability is something the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce (EVET) is looking to address in its next phase of work, and we recently commissioned chargepoint technical guidance for local authorities. More widely, we work to ensure learning and expertise is shared to support leadership and action right across the UK.

We are confident that the market, alongside further government support, can deliver an infrastructure network that will give consumers and industry confidence and meet our phase out ambitions. The UK has a diverse infrastructure sector with a range of both smaller and larger companies that are continuing to grow. We are also a world leader in new, innovative infrastructure technologies such as smart charging and vehicle to grid. The global infrastructure market is expected to grow ten-fold in the next 5 years to £56 billion. We will continue to support the sector and help ensure the UK captures part of this high-growth market.

Impact on the electricity system and capacity

Chargepoint provider and energy company respondents noted that the shift to decarbonisation would rapidly change the UK’s electricity grid system. It was suggested that the rollout of technologies such as smart meters, energy storage and BEVs would provide consumers with greater flexibility and autonomy over the ways in which they use electricity.

The vast majority of respondents from those stakeholder groups were confident that the national BEV electricity requirements could be achieved for a date as early as 2030, but stressed that managing local electricity constraints would be vital through the introduction of local flexibility markets. Some mentioned that local electricity distribution issues could arise if local authorities were not sufficiently coordinated with Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). It was noted that the transition to BEVs would benefit the UK’s energy security, with the anticipated increase of the electricity grid’s capability reducing dependency on imports of energy and liquid fuels.

In contrast to the confidence of the chargepoint providers and energy companies themselves, some trade associations either argued that the electricity system would not or may not be able to accommodate the increased requirements for a fully BEV road transport sector if the phase out date were brought forward. Consequently, electricity providers would not have the time to invest in the infrastructure and capacity needed to accommodate the drastic increase in supply, and as such the 2040 date should remain. Unmet demand for electricity by an earlier phase out date had the potential to result in widespread power failures, in turn reducing consumer confidence in the transition.

Respondents from across different stakeholder groups suggested that progress towards the transition of the electricity system should be monitored every 5 years, measured against key metrics set out in a national roadmap.

Our response: Impact on the electricity system and capacity

The energy sector has expressed confidence in its ability to manage an earlier transition. These stakeholders stated that the increase in electricity demand for the charging of BEVs must be understood as one factor within a wider list of low carbon technologies that will lead to increased electricity demand, including for example, the electrification of heating though the use of heat pumps. We are engaging with energy stakeholders, including electricity network companies and the regulator Ofgem, to ensure that increasing demand can be accommodated in the most efficient and cost effective way.

The electricity market is already set up to bring forward investment in generation capacity to meet increased demand, including the Contracts for Difference scheme which supports investment in low carbon generation. The Capacity Market continues to successfully ensure security of electricity supply by providing a payment for reliable sources of capacity, alongside their electricity revenues, to deliver energy when needed.

To accommodate this new generation and new demand from electric vehicle charging, among other low carbon technologies, continued investment in physical network infrastructure will be required. Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, ensures through the network price control regulatory framework, known as RIIO[footnote 3], that there is sufficient investment in electricity networks to enable the transition to BEVs, while ensuring costs are kept down for consumers.

Technologies such as battery storage and demand side response – including the smart charging of BEVs – can be utilised to help balance supply and demand across the electricity network. The joint government and Ofgem’s ‘Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan’ looks to drive flexibility and smart solutions across the electricity system. This includes removing regulatory barriers and reforming markets so that smart technologies are rewarded for the benefits they provide to the electricity system.

Homes and businesses that smart charge their BEVs by charging outside of peak demand periods can save money while also helping to reduce the amount of additional generation and network capacity that needs to be built. Furthermore, energy flexibility markets, which BEVs may be able to compete in, will create revenue opportunities for customers and help manage system constraints. Smart charging technology can also facilitate better utilisation of renewable electricity when it is abundant.

This year we intend to mandate that all new private chargepoints must have smart functionality. We continue to work with the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce, who in January 2020 provided proposals on how we can maximise the uptake of smart charging and ensure the energy system is ready for BEVs. In 2018, we invested £30 million to support vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. V2G technology enables batteries to discharge stored energy to the electricity grid when it is required, such as at peak electricity consumptions periods during the day.

The necessary investment in infrastructure and the adoption of smart charging will ensure that the electricity network is able to support the mass charging of electric vehicles.

Consumers: costs and fairness

A number of respondents said that transitioning to ZEVs earlier than 2040 may increase costs to consumers. The lack of upfront price parity between ZEVs and ICE equivalents was cited as a major barrier to achieving the mass adoption of ZEVs required by an earlier phase out date. Some respondents proposed delaying the phase out of ICE vehicles until upfront prices of ZEVs reach parity, arguing that continued government incentives are required for it to be achieved. It was suggested that lower income consumers could face an affordability ‘cliff edge’ if the price of ZEVs does not reduce to levels similar to equivalent ICE vehicles.

Respondents mentioned that electricity bills may increase as more consumers start to charge their vehicles at home. It was argued that the sooner the date is brought forward, the more that existing higher variable cost generating capacity will be relied upon to generate the required electricity, increasing costs.

Other respondents took the view that regardless of whether upfront price parity is achieved, BEVs can be cheaper than ICE vehicles over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime. This is because electric charging is already far cheaper than refuelling ICE vehicles, and BEVs have lower maintenance costs. Some advocated for improved consumer education around the total cost of ownership benefits of BEVs to help shift attitudes. Respondents also suggested that as battery prices fall, and BEVs become cheaper, the total cost of ownership will become more favourable, even in the absence of upfront price parity.

Others pointed out that consumers are not required to buy new vehicles after the phase out dates. They will have the option of buying ICE vehicles and ZEVs on the second-hand market. Respondents also noted consumers are able to lease ZEVs and pay monthly. This softens the issue of higher upfront prices and allows consumers to enjoy lower running and maintenance costs, which could reduce monthly outgoings compared to a leased ICE vehicle.

Respondents also noted the transition to BEVs could disadvantage some consumers relative to others, particularly through access to charging infrastructure. For example, consumers living in flats without parking provision would be dependent on on-street charging. Therefore, they would not be able to derive the same overnight charging benefits of BEV ownership (for example, lower costs and convenience) as those with off-street parking, which could disincentivise wider uptake. Reducing VAT from 20% to 5% for public charging was proposed on the basis that there is a 5% rate for home charging, and would be more equitable for those consumers without off-street charging facilities.

Similarly, motorists in rural areas, where public chargepoint provision is not as abundant as in city centres, may not have the same degree of confidence that their charging needs will be satisfied. Respondents argued that this is a geographical inequity and should be addressed by government, to ensure BEV uptake is as achievable as possible for all consumers across the country.

Our response: consumers: cost and fairness

We acknowledge the higher upfront cost of ZEVs currently on the market relative to equivalent ICE vehicles. These higher costs are a barrier for many consumers when considering purchasing a new ZEV.

This upfront price gap of BEVs in particular will continue to decrease as the market continues to expand and demand grows. Analysis by industry has illustrated diverging views on when upfront price parity may be achieved, resulting from varying projections of increased BEV uptake and corresponding reductions in battery costs. Some analysis predicts that upfront price parity may occur in the late-2020s, whereas other analysis predicts that upfront price parity for some vehicle types will be achieved in the mid-2030s. The CCC has predicted that a typical medium-sized BEV will be around £500 cheaper than an ICE vehicle by 2040.

Manufacturers are introducing a number of new BEV models at a range of price points to the market which will open BEV ownership to an increasing number of motorists. There are currently 13 BEVs on the market priced at under £30,000, and another 12 BEVs on the market, or soon to be on the market, priced at under £40,000.

Following ambitious commitments made by multiple manufacturers to electrify their vehicle production in the coming years, government is confident that greater consumer across different price points will be available on the market over the next decade. As uptake of BEVs continues to rise and battery technology progresses, battery prices will decrease as economies of scale are achieved, reducing the price gap between ICE vehicles and BEVs.

While the issue of upfront cost is important, we consider the total cost of ownership metric to be more comprehensive in assessing the overall cost to consumers. On this metric, ZEVs can already reach parity over a long period of vehicle use, particularly for higher mileage vehicles. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that parity for total cost of ownership will be reached for some vehicle segments by the early 2020s in Europe. We are confident that cost of ownership for ZEVs will continue to decrease as upfront costs fall, and that they will look increasingly attractive from a total cost of ownership perspective.

To incentivise ZEV uptake, the Spending Review confirmed further funding for the continuation of the plug-in vehicle grants to 2022 to 2023. This is in addition to tax incentives available. More information on the range of incentives to boost uptake of zero emission cars and vans can be found in the ‘What measures should government and others take to achieve an earlier phase out date?’ section.

We recognise the issues resulting from differing chargepoint provision depending on residential and geographic factors. Through the On-street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS), we have invested in providing infrastructure to those who do not have access to off-street charging, including local authorities in rural areas who are able to take advantage of this funding. It should also be noted that 97% of homes in rural areas have access to off-street parking and therefore the opportunity for overnight charging – this may reduce the need for on-street provision in rural areas versus cities and towns.

We are enhancing our understanding of the varying acceptability and cost impact of policies on consumers through the EV feasibility study (2020). The study developed and researched novel policies, such as mandating a new price labelling standard to better inform consumers of long-term costs. We are also taking steps to understand what motivates people to find out whether their next car could be zero emission through behavioural science research. A recent trial found that bringing forward the phase out date led to higher engagement with information on BEVs than a control message.


Some respondents raised concerns regarding adaptations to BEVs for the many drivers with accessibility needs. Cars are currently adapted in a number of ways to ensure people with disabilities can access and drive vehicles more easily. Due to the placement of batteries and electric motors, BEVs currently available can be harder to retrofit with accessibility modifications than ICE vehicles. Wheelchair accessibility was given as an example – the shallow ramp angle required for wheelchairs comes at the expense of the area underneath a vehicle, meaning core components must be located elsewhere.

This is easier to do with ICE vehicles as the powertrain is more compact, but harder to do with BEVs, which may limit the range of BEV model choices for consumers with accessibility needs. Respondents noted manufacturers should ensure they are factoring compatibility with accessibility adjustments. It was suggested that specialist training may be required for relocating battery packs in these instances, with cooperation with base manufacturers also necessary.

Respondents raised concerns surrounding charging infrastructure use for those with accessibility needs. It was observed that existing petrol and diesel stations are governed by accessibility regulations, whereas public chargepoints are not. This means drivers with accessibility needs may face difficulties with BEV charging. The significant weight of some types of charging cables was raised as a concern, which may be difficult to operate for drivers with accessibility needs.

Drivers with dexterity problems may struggle or not be able to use these cables, which may deter some such drivers from purchasing a BEV when they otherwise would have. It was also noted that for some parking bays do not provide enough space for drivers that use wheelchairs to exit their vehicles. The height and visibility of chargepoint screens being appropriate for those with accessibility needs was also cited as a concern. Respondents also explained that unlike petrol and diesel stations, public chargepoints are not manned and therefore there is no access to assistance.

Other respondents observed that some of these issues may be resolved as a result of technological developments. The potential development of wireless charging of BEVs for example could negate the issues around charging cables, which would have a substantial positive impact on the consumer experience for those with accessibility needs.

Our response: accessibility

We take very seriously the accessibility concerns raised by respondents, and want all consumers to be able to transition to ZEVs. Research suggests that there will be 2.7 million disabled drivers in the UK by 2035 and that nearly 3 in 5 disabled people use a private car 3 or more times per week. We understand the importance of car ownership to many people with accessibility needs, with this group accounting for at least 10% of new cars bought last year, through the Motability scheme, which already offers over 60 models of BEV and PHEV cars. Vehicle manufacturers will need to consider accessibility needs from the outset in the design stage to ensure that a range of necessary adjustments can be made.

Using electric vehicle charging points can present issues to those with disabilities. As part of our consumer experience at public chargepoints consultation, launched in February 2021, we have included a call for evidence section on accessibility to gather evidence for any interventions needed for consumers using the public charging infrastructure. We are working closely with the disability and transport charity Motability in the preliminary stages of this consultation to develop clear accessibility standards and will continue to do so going forward.

We recognise the benefit that wireless charging offers to those with accessibility needs. The wireless charging experience could provide solutions to accessibility issues raised by respondents, such as heavy cables that are currently used for certain chargepoints. To support new innovative charging technologies such as this, we have invested almost £10 million in wireless projects.

Vehicle fleets, car clubs and rental fleets

Respondents suggested that company car and van fleets are well placed to lead in the decarbonisation of road transport. Fleets represent a high proportion of new vehicle purchases and regular turnover ensures a steady flow of vehicles to the second hand market. Many fleets have already begun the process of phasing out ICE vehicles, with ambitions for full fleet decarbonisation (rather than just new vehicles) by 2030.

The EV100 global leadership campaign has launched the UK Electric Fleet Coalition, which has already secured commitments to full fleet electrification by a range of large company fleets by 2030. So far, the commitments made equate to transitioning over 700,000 vehicles to ZEVs at over 1,000 company sites. Respondents in this sector cited concerns over vehicle supply as the biggest risk to achieving a full transition to ZEVs, and encouraged government to support vehicle manufacturers to ensure supply would be ready in time for a hastened phase out date.

The case was made by respondents in the vehicle fleet sector that a single, earlier phase out date for all cars and vans across petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles types would be difficult to achieve for this sector. It was argued that this would not take into account the diverse range of vehicles types and business needs in different fleets. These respondents therefore argued for phase out dates to be tailored for different user groups and businesses to accommodate these challenges; company car fleets may be able to transition earlier than rental fleets, for example.

Respondents also suggested that phasing out ICE vans, some of which may have particular specialist use cases, at the same time as ICE cars and PHEVs, may negatively impact the confidence of some companies in the vehicle fleet sector that certain types of vehicle functionality would be provided for. It was argued it would be challenging to manufacture zero emission vans at the scale needed to meet the needs of the commercial vehicle sector.

In the case of car rental fleets, respondents cited a number of significant upfront costs that these businesses would face. To accommodate the quick vehicle turnarounds required for these businesses to operate, costly electricity grid updates as well as depot-based rapid chargepoints would be required. Car rental companies would also not benefit from refuelling savings (given the customer pays for refuelling), so would be more reliant on upfront prices coming down. A further barrier to car rental businesses that was raised was consumers being reluctant to driving a potentially unfamiliar technology in an unfamiliar location, meaning the sector could be more reliant on PHEVs to electrify their fleet.

Some respondents were of the opinion that car and van clubs represent a good opportunity for consumers to try out ZEVs today and can be well suited to electrification, particularly given vehicle ranges are lengthening, and vehicles tend to be used for shorter journeys. These respondents suggested that car and van clubs could transition to ZEVs quicker than the car and van rental sector. This is because the significant upfront costs of mass-infrastructure rollout at car rental branches are not required for car and van clubs, which rely more on public charging infrastructure.

Our response: vehicle fleets, car clubs and rental fleets

We acknowledge the differing levels of opportunity and challenge faced by different parts of the wider fleet sector, and also the sector’s calls for variable phase out dates to reflect this. Our view is that there is a need to have a clear, well-understood position that is easily enforceable. The two-phase approach chosen will provide more flexibility for businesses to transition while still contributing to emissions savings.

We welcome the commitments that businesses have made to transitioning to zero emissions and note that some parts of the fleet sector may be able to transition faster than other sections of society. We are committing to working with all parts of the fleet sector to support the range of operational requirements of different business needs. We recognise the commercial challenges that respondents have detailed within certain parts of the sector and understand that ongoing engagement will be necessary to achieve the ambition of these phase out dates.

We also note that fleet purchases are an important route for increasing numbers of ZEVs to enter the second hand market. These vehicles will offer a cheaper route for ZEV ownership, as is the case today.

Specialist use vehicles

Some respondents raised the impact of the transition to ZEVs on a range of vehicles that have specialist or niche use cases. They noted that a number of specialist vehicles (that are currently ICE vehicles), may not be catered for by battery technology and an earlier phase out date may therefore be problematic. In addition, it was argued that the range of zero emission technology options to accommodate the varied uses of specialist vehicles is currently limited, depending on use.

Some vehicle manufacturers raised the issue that batteries may not be able to combine a high auxiliary power requirement with an acceptable range. Refrigerated vans were given as an example – they have constant high power requirements due to the simultaneous powering of vehicle propulsion and product refrigeration. This means that, were these 2 power requirements to be powered by a battery, it would compromise the vehicle’s range. This could have the effect of increasing costs to companies who deploy zero emission vans in their fleets, as performance would be lower compared to ICE equivalents. The same would be true for vehicles needing to draw power for other machinery or equipment, during operations.

Other vehicle manufacturers were positive on the ability of specialist use vehicles to transition and what future innovation may provide for the performance of zero emission vans. On the issue of product refrigeration, these respondents explained that the energy needed for this function is small relative to the energy requirement for vehicle propulsion.

Therefore, auxiliary requirements (such as refrigeration) may not prevent all types of specialist vehicles transitioning to BEVs. It was also suggested that specialist use vehicles which draw substantial power from the auxiliary function would not need a substantial range to fulfil operational requirements. Some respondents observed that hydrogen is being considered as a potential solution for specialist use vehicles but would require a strategy to address green hydrogen and refuelling concerns.

Evidence was presented to show the scope for batteries to cover the future demands of specialist vehicles with auxiliary power demands, flagging that energy required for auxiliary power is typically considerably less than that needed for vehicle propulsion, and that heavier auxiliary power requirements tend to be close to the vehicle’s base. Additional battery modules could be provided where needed, and innovation would reduce the barriers over time. Alternatively, the vehicle could tow a generator (which in time could also become zero emission) to deliver the additional power requirements.

Towing was another example of a use case where respondents believed battery technology may not be adequate – the additional power required to tow would compromise the range of the vehicle. Specific examples provided raise were around recovery and breakdown vans that are required to tow other vehicles, and cars needing to tow caravans for long distances.

Respondents noted that battery performance would have to be improved to be able to tow over a long distance. It was argued that this was not practical with current technology, as the batteries required become too heavy and expensive. The case was made that, if an earlier phase out date was implemented, exemptions should be made for specialist use case vehicles to accommodate the longer timeframe required to develop more powerful batteries.

Other respondents suggested that specialist use vehicles such as breakdown vans could have additional battery modules added to the vehicle to support greater energy requirements where necessary.

Our response: specialist use vehicles

We are conscious of the diverse needs of specialist use vehicles within the car and van markets. We are grateful for responses highlighting a number of these uses and the difficulty in transitioning to ZEVs.

We recognise the innovative approach undertaken by some respondents in developing the zero emission specialist use vehicles market. We welcome the continued development of proposed solutions to the high energy requirements of these vehicles, such as the installation of additional battery modules. The significant progress made in battery technology over the last decade is expected to continue, which will diminish a number of the difficult use case issues by the time of the phase out dates.

For specialist and niche segments of the market, government appreciates the impact a phase out date might have on certain specialist vehicle fleets. Our aim is for the environmental benefits of this transition to be accompanied by the growth of the UK’s strong, innovative automotive market.

We will consider the need for a very narrow set of derogations, from the phase out dates stated. This will be addressed as part of consultation on the UK’s future regulatory regime.

What measures should government and others take to achieve an earlier phase out date?

The overwhelming majority of respondents, including vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure companies, energy providers, NGOs and research institutions, were united in the need for a supporting package of measures to accompany bringing forward the phase out date from 2040. It was acknowledged that the UK had made positive steps in addressing the very early market for ultra-low and ZEVs, but that more would be needed to support consumers and businesses to enable mass adoption of ZEVs by the phase out dates. A large number of proposed measures were submitted in response to this question; this summary focuses on the main areas of focus.

Some respondents called for government to establish a clear long-term plan or roadmap to ensure that any earlier phase out date could be achieved. Such a plan should have well established milestones to give the market certainty about the various aspects of the transition. It was argued that we should publish annual updates, showing progress against the plan. There were also some calls for review points to be established, to consider progress against the target and what more might need to be done.

Vehicle Incentives

Respondents called for an ongoing package of grant and tax incentives to ensure wider uptake of ZEVs. There was support for the continuation of the plug-in car and van grants, on the basis that upfront cost of ZEVs is one of the biggest barriers for consumers. Some respondents argued for the £50,000 price cap on the plug-in car grant to be removed, to incentivise the wider uptake of ZEVs that would be required to accommodate bringing forward the phase out date. Some vehicle manufacturers called for the plug-in car grant to revert to supporting plug-in hybrids, to support their role in transitioning consumers to electric motoring.

Respondents supported a range of tax incentives on the basis that they would offset the upfront cost of ZEVs and provide longer term certainty for consumers and businesses. Respondents advocated a 0% VAT rate on new ZEV purchases, and some supported reduced VAT for pre-owned purchases of ZEVs to stimulate the second hand market. Another measure supported was enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) of ZEVs across the fleet market.

The first-year allowance ECA scheme allows for 100% of the cost of an investment in an energy efficient and environmentally beneficial product to be written off against the taxable income of the period in which the investment is made, improving cash flow for businesses. Respondents explained that this would incentivise accelerated take up of these vehicles by offsetting high upfront costs such as installation of grid connections that are associated with transitioning to ZEVs in the fleet market.

There was widespread support for the continuation of existing tax exemptions for ZEVs to improve total cost of ownership compared to ICE vehicles. Specifically, respondents suggested an extension to the favourable company car tax appropriate percentages beyond 2025.

Other respondents advocated for the introduction of incentives that would act as penalties on ICE vehicles. One measure suggested was a feebate system, as France and Sweden have introduced, whereby upfront fees on ICE vehicles would fund a generous rebate for those buying ZEVs. Others pointed out that it could be designed to be self-funding, removing the burden on the Exchequer.

Some vehicle manufacturers argued that we could introduce a national scrappage scheme, to provide additional incentives to encourage those driving older, more polluting cars or vans to purchase ZEVs. There was no consensus on the timing, whether immediately to stimulate the ZEV market, at the time of the phase out date, or in the run up to net zero in 2050.

Beyond upfront cost or tax incentives, some vehicle manufacturers, chargepoint providers and others suggested ‘in-use’ incentives for ZEVs, such as free parking concessions, which would further improve the total cost of ownership arguments for choosing a ZEV.

Consumer groups called for us to intervene to allay consumer concerns over battery warranties, potentially guaranteeing batteries over a certain age, or establishing a regular battery health check as part of the MOT test.

Some vehicle manufacturers called for purchase and fuel subsidies for FCEVs to reduce the cost of ownership for would-be FCEV consumers. It was suggested that these subsidies would help grow the market in its infancy, and could be removed once economies of scale had been established.


The vast majority of respondents called for ongoing government support for chargepoint infrastructure, stressing that numbers, availability and reliability of chargepoints must improve significantly to increase consumer demand. Respondents including trade associations, vehicle manufacturers and chargepoint providers provided analysis that suggested a significant increase in public chargepoints would be needed to accommodate the increase of BEVs on roads prior to a hastened phase out date. Substantial capital investment from government would address barriers posed by the high costs associated with installation of chargepoints in the required locations.

Respondents across all sectors advocated for the expansion of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), ORCS and Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) to develop a comprehensive and flexible charging network at people’s homes, workplaces and in public locations.

Respondents supported a faster roll out of rapid charging infrastructure on motorways and A roads, which is essential for longer journeys and a potential barrier to many considering the switch to BEVs.

Respondents also supported the increased roll out of charging infrastructure at fleet depots, to ensure that the need for quick turnaround of these vehicles in between operational requirements is met.

For both motorways and fleet depots, it was argued that government investment is needed to target the expensive grid connections to ensure that chargepoints could be rolled out in advance of need to give consumers confidence. As well as incurring in some cases prohibitively high costs, the current technical and administrative complexity of achieving such upgrades could hinder the rate of infrastructure expansion that a hastened phase out date would require. Respondents therefore advocated us working with regulators and DNOs to establish a streamlined process for grid upgrades, as well as fiscal funding to support BEV adoption.

Some respondents proposed that government should set targets for the installation of chargepoints with reviews to ensure that supply is meeting growing demand. Some proposed that we should provide local authorities with strategic guidance in addition to the grant funding already available, to ensure that chargepoint coverage in rural areas is satisfactory.

It was also suggested that on-street residential charging should be subsidised, to ensure that consumers who do not have off-street charging can still benefit from cheap rates of residential charging. Others advocated for us to invest in filling the current gaps in the national charging network, particularly with rapid chargepoints. Government should target locations where chargepoints are not commercially viable to install, such as in areas with lower utilisation.

Respondents emphasised the need for all chargepoints to provide a good user experience, such as contactless payments or network roaming functionality, with some advocating that it should be our goal to make charging a BEV as easy as refuelling an ICE vehicle. Some respondents proposed that we make chargepoint location and availability data open and accessible, to enable the development of consumer-friendly apps and improve the consumer experience.

There were calls for us to take action to incentivise the smart charging of BEVs, as this would balance electricity grid demands and provide lower electricity costs for consumers. This could be achieved through supporting V2G technology, which would increase capacity flexibility within the electricity network at peak demand times.

Some respondents emphasised the need for investment in a nationwide network of hydrogen refuelling stations to develop the growth of the FCEV market. This initial government investment would unlock significant private investment in infrastructure as FCEV demand increased. To this end, a hydrogen strategy was supported by respondents to allow the UK to attract investment as the global FCEV market continues to grow. Refuelling stations could also be used for heavier vehicles, where the use case for hydrogen is more compelling.

Supply side measures

Manufacturing incentives for the UK automotive industry were highlighted as necessary to help it make the transition, as well as incentivising investment from new entrants to the growing ZEV market. Some vehicle manufacturers acknowledged the significant supply chain shift that was required to produce the necessary volume of ZEVs by a phase out date earlier than 2040, and urged government to provide support to meet this challenge.

Respondents specifically argued that incentives were needed to support investment in gigafactories for battery manufacture and assembly in the UK. The Faraday Institution has predicted that UK battery demand will reach around 140 GWh per annum by 2040. Based on this demand, the UK could support as many as 7 gigafactories, assuming each plant has a production capacity of 20 GWh per annum.

If government were to assist in gigafactory development, respondents argued that this would incentivise vehicle manufacturers to retain or establish their vehicle production plants in the UK, as a domestic battery supply chain would remove import costs. This would ensure the competitiveness of the UK’s manufacturing industry during the transition to mass production of BEVs. Respondents also argued that the UK could become a net exporter of electric batteries with future battery trade surpluses justifying the upfront investment.

Some respondents advocated continued R&D funding to support further advancements in battery technology and power electronics, as well as to facilitate chargepoint and energy system innovations. There were calls for this at the basic research stage, for piloting and demonstration, and to support the scale up and commercialisation of new technologies. This would enable the UK to be a world-leading market as the global BEV market continues to grow.

Some respondents made the case that transformation of the auto manufacturing industry will require the reskilling of the workforce to accommodate the transition, as supply chains shift to BEV and FCEV production. There will also be a transformation in after sale maintenance, especially for BEVs which require less servicing.


The CCC’s 2020 progress report recommended that government set more ambitious carbon regulations on new cars and vans to 2030. This would include a real world testing regime alongside standardised tests to ensure that the necessary carbon reductions are being met by new cars and vans. It also recommended that, to support bringing forward the phase out date, government should introduce a ZEV mandate which would require a growing share of UK sales of vehicles to be zero carbon, citing the existing ZEV mandate scheme in California.

This was supported by environmental NGO respondents, who advocated for a robust regulatory regime for ZEVs that is set out in a way that allows for long-term planning by manufacturers and consumers alike. This would ensure that an earlier phase out date was achieved, rather than being aspirational.

A regulatory framework for electric chargepoints covering their reliability and payment ease was mentioned by some respondents, to ensure that rollout of charging infrastructure is consistent during the transition.

Our response

Government intervention is necessary to ensure we meet our ambitious targets at the pace we want to see. A combination of supply and demand side measures is needed to deliver the transformation. These include continued investment in R&D, capital investment in the BEV supply chain and vehicle charging infrastructure, and consumer incentives to offset the higher cost of BEVs.

In previous years, we have committed £1.5 billion to support the very early market to boost uptake of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles. This investment has provided grants for consumers to buy vehicles, the roll out of infrastructure and for research and development projects investigating more efficient batteries and new charging technology. We also introduced the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 to ensure infrastructure availability could be increased and enhance the consumer offer.

This government investment has built a strong platform. There are over 373,000 ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) on the road today and consumer demand is growing. Battery electric car registrations have increased almost threefold (+185%) in 2020 compared to 2019.

Over 1,000 more ultra-low emission vans were registered between January and September 2020 (a 54% increase) than in the same period in 2019. Over 20 models are now eligible for the plug-in van grant, an increase of over 60% compared to 2019.

Demand for the plug-in van grant significantly increased in 2020, compared to 2019. In addition, ultra-low and zero emission motorcycles, taxis, trucks are also starting to roll out in greater numbers. The battery electric car market has continued to grow in 2021, with over 2,000 more registrations in the first 2 months of the year compared to the same period last year (a 49% increase).

Government funding and leadership, alongside private sector investment, has supported chargepoint installation. Today, there are over 20,000 public chargepoints including over 3,900 rapid chargers.

We are now going further. In November 2020 we committed to a £2.8 billion support package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. The rest of this section describes the further action that we plan to take. A delivery plan will be published this year.

Demand incentives and other measures

We have announced over £200 million extra for the plug-in grants taking total committed funding to £582 million until 2022 to 2023. This will provide a discount off the sticker price of a new BEV for consumers, and support them to take advantage of the lower running costs of electric vehicles.

Government currently uses the tax system to encourage the uptake of ZEVs. Zero emission cars and vans are liable to pay no tax on vehicle ownership, either at first registration, or subsequently. Furthermore, as confirmed at Budget 2020, favourable company car tax rates for zero emission cars will be in place until 2025.

To enhance consumer choice at the point of purchase, we have collaborated with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) to create standardised labelling on all new vehicles sold in dealerships. They show the emissions and lifetime running costs of specific vehicle models. This enables a dependable point of comparison for consumers as phase out dates approach. We are also working with the IMI on after sales qualifications to ensure industry has the resources to reskill their workforce.

In 2018, the National Franchise Dealer Association (NFDA) worked with the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and developed a set of standards that dealerships, selling new or used cars, will have to meet to receive accreditation. The accreditation scheme known as Electric Vehicle Approved or EVA was launched on 15 May 2019 following a short pilot. Government continues to support this scheme, which helps to raise standards and allows drivers to easily find retailers that lead the way in electric vehicle customer service, both in retail and after-sales care.


We are investing to support the provision of infrastructure required for a large-scale deployment of BEVs. We will invest £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of BEV charging infrastructure, including £950 million to kickstart the delivery of a core rapid charging network across motorway and major A road service areas, £275 million to extend existing home, workplace and on-street charging schemes that support private sector investment, and a new £90 million fund for larger-scale local schemes.

The £950 million Rapid Charging Fund will ensure the private sector can continue to expand the rapid charging network of high-powered, open access 150 kW to 350 kW chargepoints across the SRN in the 2020s by future-proofing grid capacity at motorway and major A road service areas in England to prepare for 100% uptake of ZEVs. This builds on the vision that we published in May 2020, and will address consumer range anxiety for long-distance journeys, with drivers able to charge their vehicle in the time it takes to get a coffee.

By 2023, we expect to see a high-powered charging hub at every motorway service area, installed by the private sector. By 2030, we plan for there to be at least 2,500 high-powered chargepoints across the SRN, growing to around 6,000 by 2035.

£275 million has been committed to extending support for charge point installation at homes, workplaces and on-street locations across the UK. Further details of the schemes are set out below.

To support homeowners install chargepoints, the EVHS will continue. Starting on 1 April 2021, the scheme will be refined so that it is better able to help leaseholders install chargepoints, especially those living in blocks of flats. It will also support the rental sector, allowing landlords to apply for funding. From 1 April 2022, the scheme will be entirely focused on leaseholders and renters.

For those without off-street parking, the ORCS has already provided funding for more than 145 projects across 105 local authorities, representing over 3,800 new publicly accessible chargepoints. We have announced a further £20 million to extend the programme into 2021 and 2022, to ensure more local authorities and residents can benefit. We recognise the need to provide local authorities with strategic guidance, and work is underway in developing this.

To support businesses, the WCS will continue and be adapted to target help to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Additional funding will be made available to SMEs to help them install chargepoints in large staff or fleet carparks and the scheme will be expanded so that small accommodation businesses and charities can use it to provide destination chargepoints (currently the scheme is limited to chargepoints for staff or fleet use).

Government has also created a new £90 million fund for larger-scale local BEV charging infrastructure, with the expectation that this will support larger on-street schemes and new local rapid hubs in England.

In addition to the previously committed funding detailed, the existing £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) will see thousands more electric vehicle chargepoints installed across the UK.

The early market pilot Go Ultra Low City scheme provided £40 million of infrastructure funding to 8 cities across the UK to support uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles in those areas. This kind of local leadership and action can help ensure that local infrastructure provision and measures to support ZEV uptake are integrated with wider local transport operation and decarbonisation objectives.

Alongside these measures, government is committed to ensuring that the UK’s BEV infrastructure is ready to support the mass market transition to BEVs across the country. We will continue to work with stakeholders to address emerging areas of need, strategically accelerate market uptake, and provide a roadmap for the transition to a commercial BEV infrastructure market.

Supply side measures

Alongside our commitment to reducing emissions and improving air quality, we want the UK to be the best place in the world to design and manufacture ZEVs. A number of supply side measures have been announced to help industry make this transformation and develop new technologies for the benefit of consumers and economic growth.

We have committed up to £1 billion to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, including developing gigafactories in the UK to produce the batteries needed at scale. A single factory could employ around 2,000 people in highly skilled jobs. We have confirmed nearly £500 million of this investment through the Automotive Transformation Fund to drive the electrification of the UK automotive sector, protect existing jobs, including existing clusters of activity in the West Midlands, north-east and Wales, and support the creation of thousands more high-quality jobs across the UK.

Our R&D programme has been driving forward innovation in the design, manufacture and use of ZEVs and their accompanying infrastructure. Government support has been delivered through an aligned and targeted set of mechanisms in collaboration with academia and industry throughout the technology readiness levels.

The Faraday Battery Challenge is creating the research, innovation and commercialisation pathways and ecosystem that is establishing the UK as a battery science superpower, growing innovative companies and attracting large scale battery manufacturing to the UK. Together we are investing in early stage research, for example, through the Faraday Institution, which has become an international superpower for electrochemical energy storage research within its first 2 years of operation. Its 400 researchers are working hard with industry to make longer range, lighter, faster charging, more durable, safer and sustainable batteries.

In partnership with industry, we have been supporting innovation in the commercialisation of these zero emission technologies through the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Further funding for late stage R&D in strategic technologies is provided by the Automotive Transformation Fund. These programmes and projects have helped to strengthen existing sectors and develop the emergence of new ones, creating jobs and opportunities up and down the country.

The Industrial Strategy ‘Driving the electric revolution’ challenge is working to build on the UK’s existing leading position on the manufacture of core electrification technologies, such as power electronics, machines (motors) and drives.


Regulation, whether for the vehicle, infrastructure or energy sectors, is an important lever available to us to ensure that the phase out dates are achieved.

To date, CO2 emissions from new cars and vans have been regulated by EU regulation. This regulation transferred into UK law at the end of the transition period, creating a regulatory regime in the UK which is as ambitious as the EU regulation.

Following the agreement of the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP), EU Regulation was expected to continue to have direct effect in Northern Ireland, however on 17 December 2020 the relevant provisions were removed from the NIP, meaning EU Regulation will not apply in Northern Ireland. The government is seeking to operationalise Northern Ireland-registered vehicles within the domestic framework, forming a UK-wide regulatory regime, at the earliest practicable opportunity.

To ensure the phase out dates are met and to support interim carbon budgets, the Department for Transport (DfT) will publish a green paper in the coming months on the post-EU regulatory regime for CO2 emissions from new road vehicles. This will consider both overall fleet efficiency and delivering the move to 100% ZEV sales for cars and vans.

We are also pursuing proportionate regulation to ensure chargepoints are provided in certain locations, that chargepoint infrastructure offers a high standard of consumer experience and limits the impact on the grid as much as possible.

We consulted in 2019 on introducing requirements for charging infrastructure in all new homes and in new and existing non-residential properties. These requirements would make England the first country in the world to mandate electric chargepoints in all new homes and would provide substantial chargepoint coverage across the country, including in rural areas. We will respond to the consultation before summer 2021 and enforce the regulations by the end of the year.

In February 2021 we published a consultation on the required regulatory steps to improve the consumer experience at public chargepoints, to encourage the uptake of BEVs to meet our net zero targets. The consultation is exploring what is needed to ensure open, accessible and available chargepoint data, a reliable charging network, streamlined payment methods and clear pricing metrics.

We will also ensure that charging an electric vehicle at home optimises excess capacity on the grid, by mandating that all new private chargepoints must have smart functionality. We will legislate on this measure this year.

Next steps

We are grateful for the extensive engagement from respondents, and look forward to working closely with stakeholders going forward to realise the phase out dates.

We will implement the measures specified, such as ongoing incentives, further infrastructure rollout, and support for the UK manufacturing sector to ensure that the phase out dates can be met and that the UK grasps the economic opportunities of the transition to ZEVs.

Working closely with stakeholders, we will publish a delivery plan this year setting out the main milestones towards the phase out dates and committed spending and regulatory measures. This will aim to give clarity on the policy roadmap towards the phase out dates. We will monitor progress against the plan and report publicly on an annual basis. We will conduct a review of progress towards the phase out dates by 2025.

  1. IVL, 2019. Lithium-ion vehicle battery production – estimate calculated from mean of 61-106 CO2eq/kWh battery capacity (83.5 CO2eq/kWh) x typical battery capacity (39 kWh). Typical battery capacity of 39 kWh taken from 2018 EU Joint Research Centre report referenced in Faraday Report – High-energy battery technologies. 

  2. Mentioned in the ‘The sixth carbon budget methodology report’ by the Climate Change Committee

  3. Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs

Consultation outcome: Energy-related products: call for evidence 

The response to this call for evidence contributed to building the UK evidence base for energy-related products and will inform future policies which can contribute to greater carbon, energy, resource, and bills savings.

As announced in the Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, the government will launch a policy framework for energy-related products later in 2021 where more detail will be set out on future policy and ambition.

Feedback received

Energy-related products: summary of responses to the call for evidence

Published: PDF, 627KB, 95 pages

Detail of feedback received

We received 74 responses to this call for evidence, from:

  • manufacturers
  • trade associations
  • members of the public
  • charities
  • NGOs
  • energy companies
  • water suppliers
  • consultancies
  • consumer groups

We have provided a summary of the responses to this call for evidence.

Original consultation


We’re seeking evidence to support our future UK products policy and our aim to achieve greater carbon savings.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

Energy-related products are goods such as washing machines, lighting and televisions, which use energy or affect energy consumption when in use or in standby mode.

This call for evidence explores how effective policies for energy-related products in homes and businesses can support the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050. In particular, we are seeking evidence on:

  • how to improve the efficacy of ecodesign and energy labelling policy in the UK to realise greater energy and carbon savings as well as other environmental benefits of more resource efficient products
  • whether better minimum energy performance standards and resource efficiency requirements could be set for certain products
  • whether there are any other policy measures that could help to increase the uptake of energy and resource efficient products

Please do not send responses by post to the department at the moment as we may not be able to access them.

Read our consultation privacy notice.


Energy-Related Products: Call for Evidence

PDF, 779KB, 66 pages

Published 12 June 2020
Last updated 10 March 2021 + show all updates

  1. Summary of responses published.

  2. First published.

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