UK Government has confirmed its decision to bring forward the phasing out of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 – ten years earlier than planned – as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
This decision supports ‘big picture’ issues such as the UK’s ambition to have net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 to combat climate change, and the urgent need to improve local air quality.
It was confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a column he wrote for the Financial Times.
Even before this announcement, sales of electric cars were rising quickly – figures from October 2020 show that there was a 195% increase in the sales of battery electric cars compared to October 2019, whereas there was a 38% decline in sales of diesel cars over the same period – and most people say that they find EVs better to drive than petrol and diesel cars.
However in the run up to the 2030 phase-out date there are still a number of challenges to be addressed, ranging from supporting motorists to be able to switch to electric vehicles in the most affordable way possible, to ensuring drivers have confidence in the UK public charging network.
The government has also announced that it 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”. Although the details are yet to be confirmed, it is expected that this will primarily relate to certain plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and range-extended vehicles. Both of these technologies offer a stepping stone that has helped many motorists and commercial operators to make the transition from petrol and diesel engines to electric, and they can help to reduce vehicle emissions if driven primarily on electric power, but as they also have a combustion engine.
The Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution also included welcome announcements about £1.3 billion funding for EV charge points, grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles, and for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries.