Rarely does a conversation with an executive go by without them bemoaning the instability and indecisiveness of the regulatory and legislative environment in which the automotive industry operates.

With good reason too, especially in the UK, where the outgoing government’s only consistent line has been for the country to be a world leader in electric vehicles. It has been that already, albeit world leading only in causing confusion among the car-buying public as to whether or not they need to buy an EV, and by when. 

Yet now we have a new government and a new party running the country. Will stability finally now be afforded to the automotive industry and clarity to those buying the cars it creates?

It’s hard to think the new government can handle messaging any worse than the previous one, although we don’t know too much about Labour’s view on the industry and motorists beyond some rather broad statements that have created more questions than answers. 

This is typified by the one major headline the industry’s ears could prick up to during the campaign, which was to ‘reverse’ Rishi Sunak’s own reversal of a ban on the sale of non-electric cars by 2035, back to 2030 – a date that had also been 2040 in the not too distant past. 

I’m not too sure the politicians themselves are keeping up with this one, but it’s worth remembering the only law in place is that in 2030, 80% of new car sales must be electric and the ‘ban’ is actually an argument over the remaining 20%. 

Sunak’s pledge was to allow any fuel type to be sold for the non-electric share of the market, while on the evidence of Sir Keir Starmer’s statement about a reversal, it would appear that we’re returning to the plan of that 20% being hybrids with a meaningful electric range (‘meaningful’ being something that was never actually quantified), which was Sunak’s previous plan before his latest one.

Perhaps, though, Sir Keir actually meant all new car sales to be electric by 2030? Might more flip-flopping occur? Decisive, clear action is needed here and fast: while the '2030 and beyond' period has never been a beacon for clarity and gives a sense of government seeing it as tomorrow’s problem, we now have a government in place that will actually have to worry about this detail as a live and present issue. 

Elsewhere, Labour has pledged more charging points for electric cars, which can’t come soon enough as trust is still needed in a charging network at scale that is fit for purpose.