The UK government has confirmed that sales of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned after 2030.
The ban had originally been expected to start in 2040 but has been brought forward by a decade under British prime minister Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan to tackle climate change.
However, in something of a u-turn, sales of hybrid models with significant electric-only capabilities will be allowed until 2035.
According to Johnson in a post on the Financial Times website, his plan for a “green industrial revolution” will “turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology and finance, creating the foundations for decades of economic growth”.
As well as making the UK “the Saudi Arabia of wind” and investing in hydrogen, nuclear power and cleaner public transport – including “thousands of green buses and hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes” – the plan will see the government invest more than £2.8bn to accelerate the roll-out of EV charge points in homes, streets and on motorways throughout England.
While full details of how the £2.8bn investment will be allocated, Sky News reported that some £582m will be provided to help people afford zero- or ultra-low emission vehicles and nearly £500m is to be spent on the development of and mass production of EV batteries in the next four years.
Johnson said: “This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030. However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.”
The ban was welcomed by NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), however the organisation warned the commitment will remain just an aspiration until there is a clear plan to deliver on it.
Greg Archer, UK director at T&E, said: “The shift to electric vehicles is good for our environment, our health, as well as our economy.
“The 2035 end date for new sales of cars and vans with an engine balances the urgent need to cut emissions and transform the automotive industry whilst providing sufficient time for all UK carmakers to make the transition.
“The government must now finalise a package of regulations, tax incentives and investment to ensure the goal is met.”
T&E recommended the government introduce a target for all carmakers to sell an increasing share of zero-emissions vehicles each year, with penalties if they fail to comply; improve the charging experience for EV drivers, such as by requiring roaming between networks; and reform motor taxes to encourage more car and van buyers to switch to electric.
It also recommended that the ban should be extended to diesel trucks during the 2030s and replicated throughout the EU.UK