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Motorists warned of petrol car shortages as net zero targets loom

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 08:40:16 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 08:40:16

Manufacturers could restrict carmaking to artificially boost electric car compliance, dealership warns Car salesmen face a shortage of petrol vehicles under Rishi Sunak’s net zero crackdown, one of Britain’s biggest dealership chains has warned

Manufacturers could restrict carmaking to artificially boost electric car compliance, dealership warns

Car salesmen face a shortage of petrol vehicles under Rishi Sunak’s net zero crackdown, one of Britain’s biggest dealership chains has warned. 

Vertu Motors said sales of electric cars had “stalled” in the UK, raising the risk that manufacturers will miss sales targets mandated by law.

Under the zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate, 22pc of carmakers’ sales must be electric this year with the target rising annually until it reaches 80pc in 2030.

There is some wiggle room, with carmakers able to trade carbon credits.

But with manufacturers risking fines of £15,000 per car for breaching the rules, Vertu warned that many might simply throttle supplies of petrol and diesel cars to artificially boost their compliance.

Robert Forrester, the company’s chief executive, said: “The issue you’ve got is fleet demand for battery electric vehicles is very strong due to tax incentives, but retail demand among private consumers is weak.

“So if you can’t grow the battery electric vehicles to hit the percentage, the logical thing to do is to reduce the petrol and diesel supply. 

“If you choke off petrol and diesel supply, then clearly I think prices probably will go up and actually used car prices definitely will go up. 

“But also, I’m at a dealership in North Shields in North Tyneside right now, and we could get to the situation where somebody walks through the door wanting to buy a petrol car and we might not be able to supply one.”

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