The measures will support the shift to EVs, as well as the production of sustainable aviation fuel in the UK – continuing the country’s transition towards net zero.

The government launched the £381m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund alongside an additional £15 million for the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS). Taken together, the funding will support the installation of tens of thousands of new chargers across the country, increasing EV infrastructure in every area and ensuring the UK’s charging network can support the increasing number of EV drivers and those considering the switch.

The government also unveiled its proposals for a world-leading zero emission vehicle mandate which, from next year, will set minimum annual targets for the percentage of new car and van sales that must be zero emission. The proposed mandate makes the UK’s path to zero emission vehicles the fastest in Europe.

The plans support the government’s commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and from 2035 all new cars and vans must be fully zero emission at the exhaust. Between 2030 and 2034, all new vehicles must be either fully zero emission or be able to drive a significant distance with zero emissions.

The final proposals are being jointly consulted upon by the UK government, alongside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and are the single largest carbon saving measure identified in the government’s Net Zero Strategy.

The new measures will support the wide range of manufacturers in the sector by giving them flexibility through a credits-based trading system, enabling them to bank credits in years when they exceed annual targets for use in future years or trade them with other manufacturers that have fallen short. If manufacturers do not meet their yearly targets, they could face possible fines of up to £18,000 for every vehicle they miss their target by.

Commenting on the announcements, Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), said the ZEV mandate is a critical tool in the UK meeting its ambitious net zero targets. “This mandate brings long-term certainty to the new and used EV markets and will help firms across the automotive supply chain plan for the phase out of petrol and diesel vehicle sales. We look forward to working with the government as it implements this mandate and monitors the impact on the new vehicle market.”

Tanya Sinclair, ChargePoint’s senior director, public policy, Europe welcomed the announcement and the certainty it brings to all leading charging industry players. “An ambitious ZEV mandate in the UK will guarantee numbers of EVs on the road from 2024 and, therefore, provides a clear signal to infrastructure investors to scale up chargepoint rollout,” Sinclair said.

“Having the right charging infrastructure in place to meet future EV demand will support the growth of the charging sector and thousands of highly skilled jobs across the UK. We look forward to continuing to work with the government on a robust ZEV mandate, introduced as quickly as possible following the consultation period.”