The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has pledged that its members will rapidly increase their plug-in vehicle take-up to support the UK’s Road to Zero Strategy – but has called for a supportive tax regime and better charging infrastructure to aid this.
Launched last week, the Government’s Road to Zero Strategy sets out an ambition that by 2030, at least 50% – and as many as 70% – of new car sales will be ultra-low emission, alongside up to 40% of new vans – building on targets reiterated in the clean air strategy last summer that the sale of ‘conventional’ petrol and diesel vehicles would be banned from 2040. The Strategy document also emphasised the need for this transition to be industry-led, with the Government saying it has no current plans to ban any particular technology – including hybrids.
The BVRLA ‘Plug-in Pledge’ will see the industry’s combined plug-in fleet size surge from the current level of 50,000 plug-in vehicles to 720,000 by 2025. It also sets out that vehicle rental and leasing companies will be buying 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year by this date, increasing the industry’s share of annual new plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicle registrations from the current level of 36% to 60%.
The BVRLA added that its ‘Plug-in Pledge’ will rely on the Government providing vital support for the adoption of these vehicles and the association is urging for plug-in company car tax incentives to be introduced now and not in 2020.
It also says there should be a five-year commitment on plug-in vehicle incentives and the Government should offer more infrastructure support for businesses looking to deploy large plug-in fleets.
BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Over the last two decades, the fleet industry has embraced the introduction of emissions-based motoring taxes and used the incentives they provide to deliver a sustained and substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.
“Fleets are ready to make a large-scale transition to zero-emission motoring, providing that the Government can match their ambition with a supportive tax regime and more help with charging infrastructure.”
Responding to the BVRLA, Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We want to work in partnership with industry and businesses to make these shared ambitions a reality, so we welcome the commitment made by BVRLA today.
“The measures set out in the Road to Zero strategy should help ensure that the UK remains a world leader for investment in and uptake of zero emission technologies. In addition to this, we are holding the world’s first Zero Emission Vehicle summit later this year in Birmingham, placing the UK at the heart of this technological revolution.”