Some 41% of UK motor dealers do not believe the government’s target to make half of all cars ultra-low emission by 2030 will be achieved, according to Close Brothers Motor Finance.

A third of UK motor dealers do believe the Road to Zero target will be achieved by 2030, while a quarter of respondents said they were not sure.

The finding comes amid a raft of positive news in 2019 surrounding alternative fuel vehicles, with sales doubling in the past year and one in every 10 cars sold in Britain in October being either an electric or hybrid vehicle.

But almost all (97%) dealers feel more action is needed to meet the ambitions set out in the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy. Among the top priorities, 80% would like to see better range and recharge time of electric vehicles, while the same proportion think consumers would need to see a reduction in the cost of the ultra-low emission cars.

While improvements in the cars and increased investment in infrastructure were seen as the most needed improvements, just 35% felt that higher taxes on fossil-fuelled cars are the answer to increasing low-emission cars.

“AFVs – and electric vehicles in particular – have gone from being a sliver of the total market share to a significant proportion in a very short space of time,” said Sean Kemple, director of sales at Close Brothers. “The consensus is that the tipping point has been reached, and 2019 will be remembered as the year AFVs went mainstream. The fact that this was achieved in against a background of economic uncertainty and continued confusion among consumers around fuel type is more impressive and significant. However, in order to continue this momentum, we mustn’t take our foot off the pedal.

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“The message coming from dealers – particularly independent dealers – is that we still have a long way to go to if we are to meet the government’s targets. The next government must take this issue seriously and continue to make investment in electric vehicle infrastructure a priority.”