Prime Minister Boris Johnson has brought forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 to 2030.
It’s part of a wider 10 point proposal that aims to make the UK the leading green economy – and as part of meeting net zero emissions by 2030 – the plans would mean that no new purely combustion-powered car could be sold in just 10 years time.
However, hybrid cars and vans will be able to be sold for another 5 years until 2035, when the full switch to EV would happen.
Only hybrids “that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe” would be allowed to be sold, though – meaning that while plug-in hybrids would be allowed to stay, mild- and self-charging hybrids would not be allowed to be sold.
An additional £2.8bn in funding for EVs and their infrastructure has also been pledged, which will be used to install more charging points across the UK as well as building a new ’gigafactory’ to produce electric car batteries.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said the announcement proposed an “immense challenge” – a view shared by many in the automotive industry.
He said: “We share the government’s ambition for leadership in decarbonising road transport and are committed to the journey. Manufacturers have invested billions to deliver vehicles that are already helping thousands of drivers switch to zero, but this new deadline, fast-tracked by a decade, sets an immense challenge.
“Success will depend on reassuring consumers that they can afford these new technologies, that they will deliver their mobility needs and, critically, that they can recharge as easily as they refuel. For that, we look to others to step up and match our commitment. We will now work with the government on the detail of this plan, which must be delivered at pace to achieve a rapid transition that benefits all of society, and safeguards UK automotive manufacturing and jobs.”