The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate has officially become law in Great Britain, requiring all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2035. The law was passed by the House of Commons last month, with 381 votes in favour and 37 against. It came into effect on January 3, 2024.

Under the ZEV Mandate, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain must be zero emission by 2030. This percentage will increase to 100% by 2035. In the first year of implementation, 2024, each qualifying brand must ensure that 22% of their new car sales are zero-emissions vehicles. Failure to meet this target will result in a penalty of £15,000 per non-compliant car. However, there are options for manufacturers to mitigate the fines, such as purchasing credits from other manufacturers who have a surplus.

To mark the occasion, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne will visit a BP Pulse hub in London. He will witness the operation of their ultra-fast EV chargers and meet with drivers who are benefiting from the facility.

The ZEV Mandate is expected to boost the economy and support manufacturers in safeguarding skilled British jobs in the automotive industry. The government has already invested over £2 billion in the transition to electric vehicles. The charging sector will also receive investment certainty to expand the charging network, which has already grown by 44% since last year. Currently, electric vehicles account for over 16% of the new UK car market.

The ZEV Mandate will apply to England, Wales, and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland. However, there is a need for further action from the government to provide attractive price incentives and improve EV charging infrastructure across the country. This will help increase consumer confidence in electric vehicles and contribute to the country's net-zero commitments.

Overall, the ZEV Mandate is seen as a positive step towards driving electric vehicle uptake and supporting the ongoing transition to electric vehicles in the automotive retail sector.

Carl Gurney, Director of Renewable Energy at Gallagher UK said, “The ZEV mandate is welcome news as it provides clarity for the sector and the transition will benefit people’s health as well the climate. The next step is to make vehicles affordable and in time create a second hand car market which will assist and then ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to meet the demands that will follow. Our responsibility now lies with making sure our insurer partners are in line with technology and policy developments to ensure the motor industry and charging operators have commercially viable risk transfer solutions.”

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne said, “alongside us having spent more than £2 billion in the transition to electric vehicles, our zero emission vehicle mandate will further boost the economy and support manufacturers to safeguard skilled British jobs in the automotive industry.

”We are providing investment certainty for the charging sector to expand our charging network which has already grown by 44% since this time last year. This will support the constantly growing number of EVs in the UK, which currently account for over 16% of the new UK car market.”

The introduction of the mandate was welcomed by figures in the industry. Akira Kirton, vice-president at BP Pulse UK, a leading EV charging network, said: “We are pleased to host [Browne] at our most powerful EV charging hub in central London to mark the start of the ZEV mandate. This mandate instils confidence in our strategy, reaffirming our plans to invest £1bn over 10 years to develop hundreds of EV charging hubs across the country by 2030 to bolster the UK’s charging infrastructure.”

Andrew Brem, general manager of Uber UK, said: “The ZEV mandate coming into force is a significant moment which will help drive down the costs of EVs and increase supply – accelerating the uptake of EVs over the next decade.”