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Opinion: The power of choice needs to be taken out of the hands of No 10

Sponsored: First Response digital marketer Richard Pygott examines the somewhat turbulent world of EVs.

Time 8:39 am, February 17, 2024

If there is any topic that has continued to cause debate in the motor trade over the past few years, electric vehicles are near the top of the list.

Zapmap’s latest data, as of November 2023, points to a large increase in the number of electric cars on UK roads, totalling 950,000.

In November alone, electric vehicles accounted for 15.6% of all new car registrations, with an impressive 24,359 new electric cars registered during that month. Is this a good sign for EVs or a result of the falling prices of EVs in 2023?


I don’t have any issue with EVs themselves; I think they are a great alternative.

What I do take issue with is the poor rollout of the charging infrastructure, quotas being pushed on to manufacturers and the deadline being moved and treated like a political football.

It’s quite possible the 2030 deadline could be reinstated after the next general election, which is heavily rumoured to be only a few months away.


Despite the deadline being moved to 2035, January still saw legally mandated quotas for manufacturers come into force, requiring 20% of their total sales to consist of EVs.

However, a recent RAC investigation highlighted a government shortfall in supporting charging infrastructure, and the overall poor state of the infrastructure and its installation rate.

I am currently of the same opinion as many in the motor trade – that eventually, the deadline for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be scrapped entirely, due to political pressures and the state of the infrastructure.

If 12 months is a long time in politics, 11 years is a lifetime.

But I don’t think it will be the end for EVs either though, due to the continuous improvement of environmentally friendly fuels and battery technologies.

I foresee a future where electric, hybrid, synthetic fuels and cleaner traditional forms of petrol and diesel coexist seamlessly on dealership forecourts, roads and consumers’ driveways – a future that is not only more environmentally friendly but also allows dealerships to offer a larger choice of vehicles without having to adapt their entire business at a huge cost to service and sell EVs only.

More importantly, it will be a future that puts the power of choice back in the hands of the motor industry and consumers and out of the hands of the revolving door of Number 10.

Whatever happens, though, our dealer partners can rest in the knowledge that First Response Finance will be here to support them and assist them in financing the cars for their customers, regardless of what’s under the bonnet.

This column appears in the current edition of Car Dealer – issue 192 – along with news, reviews, interviews, features and more! Read and download it for FREE here!

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.



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