Labour would reimpose the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars if it wins the next general election.
Speaking to the Financial Times, shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said the party would reinstate the goal within months if it won in an attempt to reinforce ‘certainty’ for the car industry.
Councils would be set binding targets to install EV charging points to shore up infrastructure, too.
Reynolds told the newspaper the government’s decision to delay the introduction of the ban by five years and yet still set high quotas of zero emission car sales through the ZEV mandate, was leaving carmakers ‘in limbo’.
‘The Tory government has been undermining international investment by chopping and changing… the endless stop-start of government policy has left the British automotive industry stalled,’ Reynolds said.
‘Industry themselves want 2030, they’re absolutely clear on that, the SMMT [Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders] has been clear on that, the major vehicle producers in the UK have been clear on that.’
Reynolds will set out his stall at this week’s Labour party conference, held in Liverpool, and the reintroduction of the 2030 ban is just one of a number of components to the party’s industrial strategy.
In announcing the change to the deadline last month, the prime minister said it would save households thousands of pounds.
But Reynolds explained that costs would actually go up for families as EVs ‘have cheaper lifetime costs’ than petrols, with high list prices for electric cars expected to come down over the next few years.
Labour would also provide co-funding amounting to around £1.5bn for new UK gigafactories – a figure that has gone down by around £500m, due to the government recently committing the same amount to support JLR’s new gigafactory in Somerset.
Planning approval times would also be cut ‘from years to months’ for infrastructure projects such as gigafactories, and planning rules would be loosened to help local and regional authorities meet binding targets for the installation of new charging points.
Reynolds also told the Financial Times that the £950m ‘rapid charging fund’ – which was intended to boost motorway charging and was announced in 2020 but hasn’t been actioned – and other funding would be released and redirected.
News of the delay to the 2030 ban was met with fierce criticism by the car industry last month, as reported by Car Dealer.