Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds insisted carmakers needed ‘certainty’ on Net Zero measures as he attacked the Tories for ‘chopping and changing’.
Rishi Sunak last month pushed back the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035 as he watered down a series of Net Zero measures.
The Prime Minister claimed his action could save households thousands of pounds over the coming years as Britain transitions away from fossil fuels.
But the Government risked a backlash from the car industry as it stuck to strict quotas on selling electric cars.
Next year, just over a fifth of new cars sold in Britain must be zero emission, with the target increasing each year until it hits 80 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent in 2035.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Reynolds said: ‘The Tory Government has been undermining international investment by chopping and changing… the endless stop-start of Government policy has left the British automotive industry stalled.
‘Industry themselves want 2030, they’re absolutely clear on that, the SMMT [Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders] has been clear on that, the major vehicle producers in the UK have been clear on that.’
Mr Reynolds said a new Labour government would move quickly to reinstate the 2030 new sales ban in order to restore ‘certainty’ to the industry.
He argued that pushing back the phaseout of petrol and diesel vehicles would ultimately raise costs for families because electric vehicles have cheaper lifetime costs.
Labour also plan to impose new binding targets for councils and regional authorities to roll out charging points for electric vehicles if they win power, the shadow business secretary told the newspaper.
In his speech to the Labour conference in Liverpool today, Mr Reynolds hit out at the Tories for seeking to make Net Zero ‘a divisive issue and row back on the promises they made to British industry’.
‘If the Tories want to fight the next election in this way I say – bring it on,’ he told Labour Party members.
‘Because Labour knows Net Zero is key to rebuilding our country. That it can and should mean more jobs, cheaper bills and greater security in an uncertain world.
‘But you need a government with the vision to see it and the bravery to grasp it.’
He added: ‘How can we expect businesses, to invest for the long-term, when they can’t rely on a single word of Government policy?
‘Businesses need ambition, they need commitment, and they need consistency.
‘Under a Labour Government, they will get it. Because Net Zero is a challenge, but it is also an incredible opportunity.