The UK government has issued an update to its strategy to a net zero carbon economy that includes new incentives for electric vehicle purchase and associated infrastructure.

Carmakers in Britain will also be mandated to sell a proportion of zero emission vehicles each year.

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The aim from a range of policies and measures aimed at different sectors is to dramatically reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and reach a target of net zero by 2050.

The transport sector is one of the key sectors of the economy addressed.

The UK government said a zero emission vehicle mandate will improve consumer choice and ‘ensure we maximise the economic benefit from this transition by giving a clear signal to investors’.

The UK government has said it wants to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and that by 2035 that commitment is extended to hybrids so that all cars must be fully zero emissions capable.

Under the latest plans there is a further funding of GBP620m for zero emission vehicle grants and EV (charging) infrastructure, including further funding for local EV Infrastructure, with a focus on local on-street residential charging.

London is also allocating a further GBP350m to the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, welcomed the announcements. “The automotive industry is putting zero-emission vehicles on Britain’s roads at pace beyond all forecasts, such is the choice and appeal of these new models,” he said.

“A well-designed, flexible regulatory framework could help maintain or even increase this pace to ensure we deliver on our shared decarbonisation ambitions.

“Consumers need choice and encouragement, irrespective of where they live or what they drive. The additional targeted funding for electric vehicles is welcome and will help ensure affordability for certain models. To ensure we have the reliable, accessible and nationwide chargepoint network this transition needs, however, requires a similar regulatory approach. The announcement of additional funds for on-street residential charging must energise much-needed private sector investment but consumers will only have confidence in the future if there are commensurate and binding requirements on the infrastructure sector. Combining regulatory commitments with financial ones is the key to a successful transition to zero-emission road transport.”