Kemi Badenoch pushes back over electric vehicle mandate in latest Tory net zero row


Kemi Badenoch pushes back over electric vehicle mandate in latest Tory net zero row

Kemi Badenoch is pushing back on the government’s plan to fine car manufacturers if they don’t meet electric vehicle targets, Sky News understands.

As part of ministers’ attempts to reach net zero by 2050, they are introducing a so-called zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate.

As a result, UK makers will need to ensure at least 22% of the cars they sell are electric vehicles by 2024, with the figure increasing to 80% in 2030 and 100% in 2035.

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If a company misses the target, they will be made to pay the government £15,000 for every vehicle that doesn’t comply.

The measure has been criticised by a number of manufacturers, which claim the policy will threaten their firms.

It doesn’t appear to have the support of the business and trade secretary either – as first reported by Politico – with a government source telling Sky News they didn’t believe the ZEV mandate would go ahead in its current form.

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Sources close to Ms Badenoch said the story was entirely inaccurate.

But Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Louise Haigh, said it was the “chaos created” by the Conservatives that was the “real threat to investment”, with the automotive sector “crying out for certainty.

“The transition to electric vehicles is essential to net zero, essential to economic growth, and essential to the future of our automotive industry,” she added.

“The Conservatives might be happy to delay and let our car industry stall, but Labour would back the sector all the way with our plan to deliver 80,000 jobs and £30bn in growth by turbocharging the switch to electric vehicles.”

Ms Badenoch is understood to be seeking to persuade colleagues to join her dissent on the policy at a time when a debate is raging with the Conservative Party about its net zero plans.

The party managed to secure a narrow victory in a by-election last month by exploiting local opposition to the roll-out of a clean air scheme, and since then, numerous climate commitments appear to be up for debate.

Kemi Badenoch pushes back over electric vehicle mandate in latest Tory net zero row

A number of backbench MPs have called on Rishi Sunak to scrap the 2030 ban on selling petrol and diesel cars, while Housing Secretary Michael Gove has hinted at relaxing an energy efficiency requirement for private landlords.

Mr Sunak has insisted he is still committed to the overall net zero target – despite announcing hundreds of new licences for oil and gas drilling this week – but he promised to pursue it in a “proportionate and pragmatic” way that didn’t hit people’s pockets.


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