Ford is reportedly considering restricting the sale of combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the UK market on order to meet UK government targets for EV sales.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Financial Times, Ford’s European EV unit chief Martin Sander said that the UK’s EV quota rules meant that Ford would consider diverting sales to other countries in order to avoid heavy fines.

“We’re not going to pay penalties,” Sanders reportedly said.

The UK’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate requires carmakers to sell a certain percentage of ZEVs each year, with the target gradually increasing every year until they are fully adopted in 2035. For example, in 2024, automakers must sell 22% ZEVs, before rising to 28% in 2025. Failure to do so puts automakers at risk of a hefty fine of up to £15,000 per vehicle above the threshold.

GlobalData analyst David Leah told Just Auto that compliance with the UK’s ZEV mandate may be tricky for several brands and could force BEV prices down. “It could force them to prioritise selling BEVs versus other propulsion types. This could result in cheaper BEVs as OEMs scramble to meet compliance.”

However, there are some flexibilities through a trading scheme where automakers can sell, buy, bank, borrow or convert CO2 emission allowances to help them meet the target.

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