Fiat takes aim at “sleepwalking UK Government with country” on the cusp of an EV crisis

It turns out that Fiat has strongly criticized the UK government’s approach to electric vehicles (EVs), asserting that the country is “well and truly on the cusp of an electric vehicle crisis”, according to Damien Daily, Fiat UK’s managing director.

The Government ruled out reinstating grants for plug-in cars

The Italian automaker expressed its dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to dismiss recommendations from a House of Lords report on EVs.

The report outlined measures necessary for promoting EV adoption and achieving eco-friendly targets. Among the suggestions was the reintroduction of electric car grants and addressing the VAT disparity between public and home charging.

Fiat accused the government of “sleepwalking” regarding EVs and emphasized that cost remains a significant barrier for potential EV buyers. The brand called for increased state assistance and continues to offer its own £3,000 grant (the Fiat E-Grant) on all electric models in its range, according to Car Dealer Magazine.

This is what the situation is looking like now

The situation has been exacerbated by the withdrawal of the plug-in car grant in June 2022, which has significantly impacted registrations for electric vehicles among private buyers. While low benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates have facilitated EV adoption in the company car market, the lack of incentives for individual buyers has led to a decline in new electric car registrations.

Fiat has expressed concern that the EV market for private consumers accounts for fewer than one in five new electric cars registered in 2024, says Fleet News. The absence of an electric car grant reintroduction has further compounded the issue, and Fiat urges the Government to address this by reducing the upfront cost of electric cars through renewed incentives.

Damien Dally, said urgent steps were required to incentivise consumers to buy electric cars

The challenge lies in finding a balance between incentivizing EV adoption and ensuring value for money in government spending, according to The Guardian, with Damien Dally suggesting that government targets for electric vehicle sales were at risk.

With the cost of living crisis and rising cost of electric vehicles, coupled with our net zero climate targets, we believe more needs to be done to incentivise individuals to be able to afford to make the switch,” he said in the letter.

The intervention comes as governments across advanced economies drive to increase electric vehicle sales and boost manufacturing capacity for new lower-carbon models to help meet environmental targets and spur economic growth, according to The Guardian.

The government is taking measures to accelerate the adoption of EVs

To help promote the widespread use of EVs, the government is taking measures such as the Zero Emission Vehice (ZEV) Mandate and the delay in petrol and diesel ban too.

The government has set an ambitious target for new cars and vans sold in Great Britain. By 2030, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans are required to be zero emission. This percentage will increase to 100% by 2035.

The ZEV mandate provides clarity to manufacturers while safeguarding UK jobs. It aligns the UK with other major global economies like France, Germany, Sweden, and Canada, according to GOV.UK.

The Prime Minister’s decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 to 2035 allows more time for families to transition to electric vehicles. This delay also supports the growth of the second-hand EV market and the rollout of charging infrastructure across the country.

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