Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the acceleration of the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030 – as part of a “green industrial revolution”.
The ban had been planned for 2040, but has been brought forward under the Government’s 10-point plan to tackle climate change.
The sale of some hybrids will continue until 2035, though these will only be “hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe”.
The devil is in the detail, but it’s thought this refers only to plug-in hybrids, so it could mark the end of the road for mild and self-charging hybrids.
The Prime Minister also outlined new investment of £1.3 billion to ramp up the rollout of chargepoints in homes, streets and motorways, and up to £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to help reduce up-front costs.
Nearly £500 million will also be spent in the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, helping to boost manufacturing bases including in the Midlands and North East.
“With the Government formally bringing forward the date for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, the car industry and those responsible for charging infrastructure now have an enormous task on their hands,” said RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes.
He added: “But for the time being the biggest barrier to going electric remains the comparatively high upfront vehicle cost, so we hope the Government’s announcement will pave the way to lower list prices, thereby accelerating take-up.
“This in turn will help lead to EVs being more readily available on the second-hand market which is where the majority of people choose to buy their vehicles.”
Gill Nowell, a Director at EVA England, a consumer association offering a voice for electric vehicle drivers in England, said: “We welcome today’s announcement and judging by the results of our survey of electric vehicle drivers that we ran in the summer, and through our engagement with both prospective and current EV drivers, so too does the EV community in England.
“Drivers that go electric in England typically do so as they are concerned about air pollution, climate change, or want to significantly reduce their fuel costs. Regardless of their motivations going into their first purchase, the majority find that they are just great vehicles to drive.
“Whilst health, climate and affordability are vitally important parts to this debate, we also see EVs as the go to car choice for many, as they become increasingly more affordable and available.”