Author: Ashley Robson Head of Product – European Automotive
Cast as a “green industrial revolution”, the UK is undergoing a transformation to cut emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050. The UK Government has vowed to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030. This will put the UK on course to be the fastest G7 country to decarbonise cars and vans. But the question remains how ready will we really be? And is the ‘Road to Zero’ really on the way?
INTEREST IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES RISING?
Although the interest in Electric Vehicles continues to rise, there are still a number of challenges to ensure that the UK continues to drive along the ‘Road to Zero’. The total EV sales are predicted to grow from 11.2 million in 2025, then reaching 31.1 million by 2030 , according to insights by Deloitte. Deloitte’s analysis has also found that ‘50% of UK consumers would consider an EV as their next vehicle purchase.’ However, the Covid pandemic and multiple lockdowns has had an impact across the UK automotive market with car registration numbers overall down 29.4% by the end of 2020. Despite this, the total share of the new-car market taken by pure-electric cars in 2020 was 6.6%, with 108,205 electric cars sold. With the interest in Electric Vehicles still growing, the UK will need to ensure that other elements will make the transition a success, including, creating a fit for purpose infrastructure network. New analysis reveals there would be at least a £16.7bn cost, to getting UK’s public charging network ready, with 507 new charge points. The survey also found that other factors holding buyers back include higher purchase prices (52%), and fear of being caught short on longer journeys (38%). In addition, as the interest grows, dealers will need to ensure that consumers’ intentions follow through to conversions, by offering the right warranty products (you can find out more below about Electric Vehicle warranty).
GREEN NUMBER PLATES
New and used zero-emissions vehicles can now display a green number-plate as part of the government's Road to Zero plan. Introduced last year, the plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies to incentivise people to own and drive them. For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones where those with a green number plate will be recognised as eligible. There is already some indication on how these incentives are coming to fruition, although the information on progress is limited. London’s Congestion Charge Zone already grants free access to the capital’s central district, for owners of electric vehicles. We can see examples of this outside the UK, where the Canadian green plate programme sees EV drivers given free access to toll lanes and car-pool lanes, even if only one person is in the car. This could potentially be something that comes across the pond and onto UK roads in the future, but nothing has been set in stone.
ASSURANT EV ONE AND PARTNERSHIP WITH LEVC
Whether you currently have EV vehicles in your stock mix, or are planning to in the future, it makes sense to be able to give customers who choose to ‘go green’, the right kind of cover they would need for their Electric Vehicle. Assurant can provide the most comprehensive cover to date, with our latest offering ‘EV One’. Assurant’s EV warranty offers specific coverage for all your Electric Vehicle or hybrid inventory, irrespective of technology and/or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
Recently we have teamed up with the London Electric Vehicle Company, to provide them with extended warranty solutions for their electric commercial vehicles. The warranty proposition, LEVC One, will cover LEVC electric TX black cabs and VN5 electric van models, more than 4,000 vehicles that are on UK roads today. LEVC One includes a standard warranty for five years and 150,000 miles for the vehicle and eight years and 150,000 miles for the battery, as well as an extended warranty of six years and 200,000 miles for the vehicle and eight years and 200,000 miles for the battery.
This means that LEVC can offer a longer warranty that also covers more miles for its customers and supports the UK’s transition to electric vehicles and the end of new petrol or diesel vehicle sales in 2030.
Road to Zero – Conclusion
So, the question still remains, how ready will the UK be for 2030? There appears to still be a number of challenges that the government needs to work through. Mainly creating a fit for purpose infrastructure network and providing the right incentives for consumers to want to ditch their current petrol and diesel cars and replace them with electric vehicles. In addition, the electric vehicles themselves need to be able to have the right costings for ownership and enough milage for those who work or travel long distance regularly, to make them a worthwhile investment. If these barriers can be broken, then the UK is set to have a smooth ride on the ‘Road to Zero’.