SMMT calls for ROO delay to protect EV prices

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called for an agreement between the UK and EU to prevent harsher tariffs on EVs.

Tougher Rules of Origin requirement on car batteries will be introduced on 1 January which could drive up the cost of EVs and vehicles which do not meet the new threshold will be subject to 10% tariffs when the cross The Channel.

This could add a combined bill of £4.3bn to the price of EVs, with individual cars make in Europe and sold in the UK rising by £3,400.

Almost half of EVs sold in the UK are manufactured in the EU, and the SMMT fears that further prices hikes could have a devastating impact on demand as the motor industry in the UK strives to reach the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate.

The SMMT has now called for a three-year delay to the introduction of the ROO to protect the shift of the UK car parc to electrification.

Mike Hawes, chief executive, said: “UK Automotive is a trading powerhouse delivering billions to the British economy, exporting vehicles and parts around the world, creating high value jobs and driving growth nationwide. Our manufacturers have shown incredible resilience amid multiple challenges in recent years, but unnecessary, unworkable and ill-timed rules of origin will only serve to set back the recovery and disincentivise the very vehicles we want to sell. Not only would consumers be out of pocket, but the industrial competitiveness of the UK and continental industries would be undermined. A three-year delay is a simple, common-sense solution which must be agreed urgently.”