Decarbonisation Policy Position Paper 2020

The BVRLA Position Papers outline the association’s views, objectives and engagement activity relating to key policy areas affecting the industry.


A policy framework that enables fleets and government to meet their net zero ambitions by:​

1. Supporting the decarbonisation of passenger vehicles

  • Use Research to assess government progress against the key areas of supply, demand and infrastructure​

  • Engage with the Government to develop policy measures which support a managed transition to zero emission cars

2. Supporting businesses and individuals in changing their transport behaviour

  • Research and promote innovative policy initiatives that can help drive transport behaviour change  ​

  • Use BVRLA research and communications to demonstrate the sustainable transport credentials of the vehicle rental, leasing and car club sector

3. Supporting the decarbonisation of Commercial Vehicles

  • Secure a technological roadmap from government which provides greater certainty of the available options for CV operators​

  • Research and promote innovative policy proposals that support decarbonising the transport of goods

Decarbonisation key messages

  • The destiny of road transport decarbonisation rests in the hands of the fleet sector.​

  • BVRLA members purchased an estimated 80% of all BEVs sold in the UK in 2019. They have embraced the challenge of transport decarbonisation and many have introduced internal ambitions for zero-emission fleets far in advance of the previous 2040 phase out target. ​

  • One date will not fit all, there can be no single date for phase out of all new ICE sales. Every part of the fleet sector is committed to decarbonising, but some face a much harder challenge than others. Viewing the market as a single entity is simple but won’t work. ​

  • In order to realise its net zero ambitions the Government must take action to ensure there is an adequate supply of electric vehicles as well as sufficient charging infrastructure.​

  • Flexible, pay-as-you-go car use offers a sustainable and inclusive option that complements active travel and public transport use by giving people the confidence to give up an older, more polluting, privately-owned car.

Decarbonisation key asks

  • ​The Government should segment the market and tailor appropriate support and phase out targets for each use case.
  • There should be no zero emission vehicle mandate. Policy measures should instead be aligned with other EU markets, where grants and incentives have been far more successful in achieving a higher EV market share. ​
  • Hybrids should only be included in future phase out targets for petrol and diesel vehicles if there is a sufficient supply of zero emission vehicles, price parity with petrol, diesel and hybrid options has been achieved and consumers are confident that is sufficient access to public charge points.​

  • A used EV market strategy is required to incentivise buyers by creating an environment where second-hand battery electric vehicle in-life benefits make then an attractive proposition.  ​

  • The Government needs to produce a technological roadmap for commercial vehicles which recognises that batteries will be an insufficient powertrain for future trucks, large vans and specialist vehicles. ​

  • The Government & Ofgem must re-evaluate the grid upgrade process, ensuring that early EV adopters do not bear the brunt of the costs associated with modernising the network. To avoid potential delays from those awaiting the results of any review, the Government should look at providing financial support to encourage investments now.