The UK government’s aggressive push towards electric vehicles (EVs) has encountered resistance from some major automakers. But at the same time, some of the EV sector’s biggest players also argued that the UK’s EV goals are actually not tough enough.
Citing documents that it was reportedly able to view, The Guardian noted that Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, and Nissan were among the carmakers that are requesting delays in the rollout of the UK’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate. In contrast, Tesla, Ford, and Volkswagen called for the ZEV mandate to be tougher on carmakers.
The UK’s ZEV mandate is expected to push automakers to sell a growing number of electric vehicles. Doing so allows companies to avoid notable fines, as per the documents that were reportedly viewed by the publication. Under the ZEV mandate, 22% of new vehicles sold in the UK in 2023 must be zero-emissions. By 2030, it is expected that 80% of new cars sold in the UK will be zero-emissions.
Toyota is the world’s best-selling automaker, but it is also one of the biggest laggards in the electric vehicle sector. Thus, it was not surprising that the Japanese carmaker noted that it was “extremely concerned” by the UK targets up to 2027. The company also noted that the targets would be “challenging for manufacturers like Toyota,” and that such mandates may result in financial and brand damage to the company.
Jaguar Land Rover, for its part, noted that it was “far from certain” that automakers could achieve the ZEV targets. The automaker also stated that “targets in the early years are set at unachievable levels.” Nissan, Stellantis, and Vauxhall reportedly supported the proposed delays to the UK’s ZEV targets as well.
The sentiments of Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, and Nissan stand in stark contrast to the views of Tesla, Ford, and Volkswagen. As noted by The Guardian, Tesla noted that the rules are “not sufficient to drive more than organic market evolution.” The EV maker, which recently reported sales of 1.808 million vehicles in 2023, also noted that “targets that look a stretch today will quickly be surpassed.”
Ford largely echoed Tesla’s sentiments, stating that it “believes that the suggested trajectory can be met by many manufacturers across the UK market, and will ensure that those that are lagging accelerate their development appropriately, with the option of trading certificates to make up any shortfalls.” Volkswagen also noted that the goals were “ambitious but seem to be generally feasible.”
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