Leasing industry reveals government’s Road to Zero strategy has its brakes on
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) believe the government is slightly behind schedule on its electric vehicle strategy, and that the market is seeing a mixed response to its current policy approach.
In 2018 the government published the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, pledging to make almost every car and van zero emission by 2050. One year on, analysis shows that issues with taxation, charge point infrastructure and vehicle supply are putting the brakes on their plans.
“Fleets across the UK have committed to this transition and are leading the zero-emission vehicle surge. Our research has found that they are desperate for clarity on future taxation and incentives, want better access to public charging and are frustrated at lead-times of over 12 months for the most popular EVs.” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.
The BVRLA, which represents fleets that own or operate nearly five million cars and vans, uses a scorecard system to provide a comprehensive analysis of the government’s Road to Zero progress. This is currently marked as ‘Amber – Brakes on’.
This reflects the mixed picture that comes through in the report’s more detailed sub-scoring. Although there are green lights for some of the sub-criteria – such as the UK being a front-runner’ compared to other countries - these are outnumbered by the red warnings in vital areas, as summarised above.
To support its assessment, the BVRLA has made some key recommendations including providing a five-year roadmap for motoring taxes and EV incentives, setting a national quota for EV registrations that increases towards 2030, and mandating universal methods of access and payment for public charge points.
“Growing concerns around urban air quality and climate change mean that the government is already updating its targets with more ambitious ones. We are ready to work with policymakers and the automotive supply chain in meeting today’s and tomorrow’s challenges,” added Keaney.
The BVRLA’s Road to Zero Report Card provides a detailed analysis of key elements of the government’s EV strategy and consolidates them into five categories – policy measures, tax benefits, new vehicles, charge points and user sentiment – giving each a traffic-light assessment based on a range of sub-criteria.