Alternative Fuels - What happened in June 2024?

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It’s all getting political in the world of alternative fuels

In this month’s alternative fuel review, we’ll be taking a dive into the world of politics to find out how each party plans on dealing with alternative fuels. New tariffs being introduced could affect the transition to net zero and bigger funding is being given to continue the rapid growth of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the UK.

Char.gy pushing for growth

EV charging company, Char.gy have secured funding of up to £100m to continue with the installation of public on-street charging points throughout the UK. With this investment, they hope to grow its network from over 3000 charge points currently to 100,000 by 2030.

Although this jump may seem unrealistic, it is in-line with the Government’s goal to reach a total of 300,000 points across the UK by 2030 compared to the present 60,000.

Currently only 40% of households have off-street parking, but by giving access to charging points on their street, consumers could be persuaded to buy at a time when EV sales are slowing.

Could EU tariffs slow the road to decarbonisation

Electric vehicle manufacturers from outside the EU will face tariffs of up to 38.1% as they are seen as a threat to car manufacturers within the EU. Chinese manufacturers BYD as well as EV giants Tesla will be impacted.,

The introduction of these tariffs could have an affect on the transition to net zero, as a third of the total EVs bought in Europe were imported from China. They have been able to sell their EVs at a cheaper price due to their large scale and cheaper production in China. The EU are hoping that because of the cheaper production costs, the manufacturers can absorb these tariffs into their profits. However, it’s more likely we will see prices rising, making it more difficult for fleets and drivers to make the switch to electric.

It’s time to vote!

With the general election coming up, we’re looking at what each party has committed to relating alternative fuels in their manifesto.

Conservative

The Conservative Party have promised to reverse the controversial expansion of ULEZ in London. Some transport companies have started to pull out of deliveries within the ULEZ due to costs but reversing the expansion could allow for these opportunities to open back up.

Lib Dems

The Lib Dems have stated that the Conservative ministers have “badly neglected” transport infrastructure and have pledged to make it “cheaper and easier” for drivers to switch to EVs by rolling out more charging points, as well as reinstating the plug-in car grant.  They state both are good for business and will support decarbonisation.

The Lib Dems also plan to bring back the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engines (ICE) to the original date of 2030 rather than 2035. This will only impact new vehicles and realistically is likely to have little impact given the quotas that manufacturers need to adhere too regarding EVs

Labour

With polls suggesting that Labour will form the next majority Government, their manifesto will be one that all fleet operators are looking at.

Along with the Lib Dems, Labour wish to reintroduce the ban on the sale of new ICE vehicles from 2030.. They’ve also “welcomed” an acceleration of EV charge points but no further details are provided.

Labour will also support buyers of second-hand electric cars by standardising the information supplied on the condition of batteries. Having access to more information regarding battery condition when purchasing second hand EVs could help boost the second hand market as this is seen as one of the many concerns people have when it comes to buying used EVs.

What does the future look like 

With the possibility of a new Government coming in, there could be some big changes to rules and regulations within the transport industry but the outlook will be confused until at least July 4th when the results of the general election are published.

What is clear, is that there is a push towards decarbonisation from most parties.  Disappointingly, this push appears to be more “stick” than “carrot” given the lack of incentives.

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Matt Dodds
Head of Strategic Sales and Partnerships

With over 14 years of experience across two of the leading fuel card companies in the UK, Matt Dodds joined RFC Edenred to help lead the development of products to support our customer's move to EV and other alternative fuels, a transition he feels passionately about.