The UK’s ambition for zero-emission road transport faces significant challenges, as highlighted in the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association’s (BVRLA) annual Road to Zero Report. Despite initial progress, sectors pivotal to this transition are now under strain.

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney commented on the report, noting a downturn in electric vehicle (EV) adoption: “Electric car registrations are stalling, demand for electric vans is falling, and the used EV market is facing collapse. Early momentum is waning. Although we have over one million zero-emission vehicles on the road and a growing network of public chargepoints, confidence is slipping.”

The report, created in collaboration with Ricardo, provides a comprehensive review of decarbonisation efforts, combining industry data with insights from key stakeholders in vehicle rental, leasing, fleet management, and related sectors.

Key findings of the 2024 report include:

  1. ZEV Mandate Impact: Six months into the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate, business leasing for electric cars remains strong, aiding manufacturers in meeting the mandate. However, personal leasing demand has declined, and rental utilisation of electric cars is low due to driver concerns about charging and vehicle suitability.
  2. Chargepoint Rollout: The deployment of public chargepoints is progressing well, aiming to exceed 300,000 units by 2030. Despite improvements in reliability, the charging experience requires further enhancement. Van-accessible chargepoints are rare, and there are widespread calls for pre-bookable chargepoints and simplified payment systems.
  3. Used EV Market: The report examines the evolving market for used battery electric vehicles (BEVs), highlighting the need for targeted action to stimulate this sector as the UK’s car parc changes.

Keaney emphasised the necessity for immediate government action: “Our new government must hit the ground running on road transport decarbonisation. Targeted measures are needed for charging infrastructure, the used market, and the van transition. With the insights in this report, we are ready to advance these discussions.”

The report is available in full via the dedicated website.

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