Posted by Roger Mallett Posted on 25 May 2024

The climate scaremongers: The great electric car crash

THE government’s electric car (EV) rollout is rapidly running off the rails. Its Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate demands that 22 per cent of UK car registrations this year must be electric. Any manufacturer falling short of this target must pay a fine of £15,000 for each car below target, or buy ZEV allowances from manufacturers who exceed the target. (They are also allowed to carry forward deficits, but this will simply add to their costs in future years).

But EV sales continue to stagnate. So far this year they account for only 15.7 per cent, barely up on last year.

As often pointed out in this column, very few drivers want to buy cars which are totally unfit for purpose for most people. So far the government has relied largely on fleet and business sales, which have been more buoyant because of generous government subsidies. But there is a limit to these sales, and private buyers for the most part are simply not interested. Without them EV sales will remain in the doldrums.

So what will motor manufacturers do? They clearly cannot afford to pay multiple fines of £15,000. This column predicted a few months ago that their only option will be to cut sales of petrol and diesel cars to get the ratio back to 22 per cent, and this is exactly what Ford intend to do. Martin Sander, general manager at Ford Model e Europe, told the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit in London earlier this month: ‘We can’t push EVs into the market against demand. We’re not going to pay penalties. We are not going to sell EVs at huge losses just to buy compliance. The only alternative is to take our shipments of [combustion engine] vehicles to the UK down and sell these vehicles somewhere else.’

Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Stellantis, the maker of Vauxhall and Citroen cars, had a similar message last month. He said that a law to limit petrol car sales was ‘terrible for the UK’. He said that if ministers did not make urgent changes to the rules, Stellantis could be required to slash the number of cars it sells in Britain, and he refused to rule out halting sales of some models altogether.

Read More – The climate scaremongers: The great electric car crash

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