SMMT Calls On Government To Make Long-Term EV Incentives

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The SMMT (The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) has today called on the UK government to make long-term incentives for EV buyers to drive demand.

It follows a new survey* by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the SMMT which revealed that nearly half of divers in the UK don’t feel ready to switch to an electric car by 2035, when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is set to be banned.

*Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,185 adults online in the UK, filtering to those who hold a driving licence, between 21-24 August 2020. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of the UK by age, gender, region and social grade. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules

smmt electric cars

SMMT’s EV recommendations to government

According to the aforementioned survey, the main factors which are putting drivers off getting EVs are high purchase prices (52%), a lack of local charging points (44%) and uncertainty about range on longer journeys.

In a press release published today, the SMMT highlighted a list of nationwide recommendations it believes will encourage people to switch from combustion-engine models to all-electric cars. This includes:

  1. No tax on zero emission cars, including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) for at least six years.
  2. Long term commitment to the Plug-in Grant (£3,000 towards all new EV purchases).
  3. National strategic plan to increase the number of local chargepoints, ensuring the right chargers are in place for residents.
  4. Support and guidance for local authorities when it comes to planning permission and technical standards.
  5. A multi-sector roadmap strategy which includes targets for incentives, infrastructure and energy provision, with messaging to encourage positive technology choices for consumers.
  6. All public chargepoints (including rapid and ultra-rapid chargers) to be made available to all users, with credit/debit card access and/or network roaming.
  7. Regular progress reviews to look at key enabling metrics from annual reports in order to stick to the plan.
  8. A UK strategy to help the industry’s transition in auto manufacturing – e.g. attracting new investment, upskilling the workforce, battery manufacturing, supply chain development and strategic R&D investment.

Manufacturers back SMMT stance

20 manufacturers banded together to stage an event in support of the SMMT’s ‘Drive Zero’ campaign.

Talking about the impact of support from leading car makers, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said:

“Car makers are leading the charge to zero emission motoring, with massive investment in new models fueling huge consumer interest but they can’t transform the market alone. To give consumers confidence to take the leap into these technologies, we need government and other sectors to step up and match manufacturers’ commitment by investing in the incentives and infrastructure needed to power our electric future.

Manufacturers are working hard to make zero and ultra-low emissions the norm and are committed to working with government to accelerate the shift to net zero – but obstacles remain. Until these vehicles are as affordable to buy and as easy to own and operate as conventional cars, we risk the UK being in the slow lane, undermining industry investment and holding back progress.”

We’re already seeing increased demand for EVs

There’s already an attraction to electric cars out there from drivers, with demand for them increasing by more than double last year alone.

A combination of large industry investment, government incentives and the general appeal of new technology and lower running costs associated with EVs are all to thank for this.

The SMMT hope to build on this success in order to achieve a full zero emission-capable from the new UK car market.

Analysis by the trade body and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan suggests that in order to achieve this vision, 1.7 million public charge points are needed by the end of the decade, plus a further 1.1 million by 2035.

On-street chargers are the main challenge, according to the SMMT. It has predicted that 507 on-street charge points need to be installed each day up until 2035 in order to cater for a fully-electric motoring nation, which would cost £16.7 billion.

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