The government announcement of a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 onwards has been warmly welcomed by green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E). However, T&E warns the commitment will remain just an aspiration until there is a clear plan to deliver on it.
The UK government has announced that sales of new cars and vans with only internal combustion engines (ICE) will be banned by 2030; and all hybrid cars and vans by 2035. The goal is essential to Britain achieving its net-zero climate target by 2050. It will not only help combat climate change but also ensure cleaner air and encourage investment in electric vehicle and battery manufacturing in the UK.
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.”
To end sales of new fossil fuel cars and vans, the government needs to introduce a target for all carmakers to sell an increasing share of zero-emissions vehicles each year, with penalties if they fail to comply, T&E said. It also needs to improve the charging experience for EV drivers, such as by requiring roaming between networks; and also reform motor taxes to encourage more car and van buyers to switch to electric.
T&E said a British commitment to phase out ICEs for cars and vans now needs to be extended to diesel trucks. Sales of new diesel trucks will also need to end during the 2030’s. The EU should also name an end date for selling new petrol and diesel cars, vans and trucks when it reviews its vehicle emissions regulations.
Greg Archer concluded: “The UK’s commitment to end sales of new cars and vans by 2035 should now be extended to trucks and replicated throughout the EU. Regulations requiring carmakers to reduce CO2 emissions are leading to a surge in both the supply and demand for electric cars across Europe making it the largest market for clean vehicles in the world. The best way to create new green jobs is to rapidly end the sale of outdated models with engines and replace these clean, zero emission electric vehicles.”
Cars and vans are responsible for over 60% of UK transport emissions and trucks another 16%. Meanwhile, electric vehicles are expected to reach 12% of overall car sales next year.
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