With sales and leases of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles set to be banned in the UK from 2030, what can your business do to prepare for the changes to come?
What exactly is happening and when?
From 1 January 2030, it’ll no longer be possible to buy or lease a new car or van in the UK that’s powered solely by fossil fuels. Some self-charging and plug-in hybrids will still be allowed until 2035, as long as they’re capable of travelling significant distances on electric power alone.
After that point, only new sales of cars and vans that are “fully zero emission at the tailpipe” will be allowed. So from 2035 the only new cars and vans allowed will be electric vehicles (EVs) and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. (Though it will still be possible to sell (and buy) used ICE vehicles and hybrids after that.)
The ban’s only a couple of fleet replacement cycles away, so now’s the ideal time to get your whole business thinking about it.
Why is the ICE ban being introduced?
As part of its drive towards net-zero, the government wants to reduce carbon emissions from road transport. Hence the ban, which is due to be introduced earlier than similar measures in any of the other G7 countries
Many towns and cities are also planning to restrict access to ICE vehicles before in order to reduce particulate pollution and improve air quality.
The government is committed to increasing the number of EVs on our roads.
One example of this is that, following a recent consultation, the government proposes to adopt a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate. This is expected to require that a certain proportion of each manufacturer’s new car and van sales must be zero emission from 2024. This aims to provide consumers and industry with greater certainty during the transition to EVs. In addition, the consultation highlights that the regulation of carbon emissions for non-zero emission cars and vans will continue. So there’s a clear direction of travel away from ICE vehicles.
Decarbonisation’s coming and fleet operators need to be ready for it.
There’s no need to panic
The 2030 ban will only be on sales and leases of new ICE vehicles. You’ll still be able to keep running them in your fleet if you already have them. But it does mean that your business needs to start preparing for the change now.
What changes might you need to get your fleet ready?
Electrifying your fleet is not something that you can achieve overnight. You won’t only need a change of vehicles, but a change of mind. Getting your business’s infrastructure ready to meet these new needs will require both time and investment.
How will you charge your EV fleet?
One of the advantages that EVs offer over ICE vehicles is that they give you the opportunity to ‘make your own fuel’. You might choose to invest in solar panels to charge your vehicles on site. But if this is the path you choose, there are a number of things you’ll need to do before you can even break ground.
These include making a case for the investment required, going through your local planning authority to get the required permission for any building work required, and putting the job out to tender. You’ll also need to arrange for any generating capacity you install to be connected to the grid.
And even if you decide to install EV charging points linked to the mains, you’ll still need to make sure you’ve got the right electricity tariff to meet your needs. (Fuelling EVs can represent a major saving when compared with ICEs, so the correct tariff really matters. You can also sell the electricity stored in your EV batteries back to the grid at times of high demand provided you have the right agreement in place.)
All of these things will take time. And while 2030 may seem long in the future today, it’s never too early for your business to start getting ready.
Find out more about how your business can transition to an EV fleet
Electrification can bring major benefits to businesses where transport plays a key role. Drax Electric Vehicles can help you get ready to make the most of it before the ICE ban comes into force. Download your free copy of their EV guidenow.