The recently released Zero Emission Vehicle mandate document outlined the impact such a scheme would have on the UK’s embrace of electric vehicles. It found that it may result in a very high value for money, potentially up to £96billion, as well as supporting other aspects of the economy.
However, the report also warned that some “indirect” impacts would occur from the behaviour change of more electric cars on the road.
The Government document highlighted how the transition to electric vehicles may result in additional traffic caused by the lower per mile cost of driving EVs.
The summary of impacts found that projected increased traffic from electric vehicles is “clearly uncertain” and would depend on the future car tax system.
As the UK nears the 2030 ban target, more people will adopt electric cars, prompting charging and other running costs to fall.
With these low prices, drivers are expected to travel more often, including shorter journeys, leading to increased congestion.
The report also highlighted how the increase in road traffic will inevitably lead to more accidents on the roads.
The ZEV mandate will require vehicle manufacturers to gradually increase the percentage of electric car and van sales from 2024.
It is set to come into effect next year and will work hand-in-hand with the Government’s aim to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.
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The proposed minimum ZEV target trajectory for new cars sold begins at 22 percent next year and will increase to eight in 10 in 2030, before reaching 100 percent in 2035.
The consultation was launched in March and is set to come to an end on May 24, with the Government seeking views on how such a scheme could be rolled out effectively.
This comes as new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows there are more than 1.1 million electric cars on UK roads.
Overall, there are now 40.7 million vehicles on the road, with car ownership rising for the first time since 2019 to reach record levels.
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One in every 32 cars now comes with a plug as average car and van CO2 emissions dropped by -1.6 percent.
With this increase in electric cars, plug-in vehicles now make up 3.1 percent of the total number of vehicles on the road.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented on the data and how the increase in EVs can move the UK forward with its net zero goals.
He said: “After two tough years, Britain is on the road to recovery with the first growth in car ownership since the pandemic – while vans and trucks also continue to deliver for business and society in ever greater numbers.
“Better still, we are driving Britain towards a net zero future with more than a million zero emission vehicles now on the road and cutting carbon.
“With exciting new technologies and models fuelling our appetite to get back behind the wheel, now is the time to commit to greater investment in infrastructure and incentives, to speed up a switch to carbon-free mobility that is accessible to all.”
Despite the increasing pace of electric vehicle uptake, many industry experts are concerned about the rollout of public charging stations.
Estimates show there is one standard public charger for every 36 plug-in cars on the road, down from 31 EVs to one charger in 2021.
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