In 15 years, Britain may say goodbye to petrol and hybrid cars

File photo
File photo

IT is advantage Electric as the British government said it would end the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans in 2035, or earlier “subject to consultation”.

The target is now five years earlier than planned in a bid to reduce air pollution.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to use the announcement to elevate the United Kingdom’s environmental credentials, Reuters reported.

“We have to deal with our CO2 emissions,” Johnson said at a launch event for COP26 at London’s Science Museum recently.

Globally, a deliberate shift to electric vehicles is happening and policymakers are actively pursuing it.

The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have already said they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centres by 2025. France is preparing to ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2040.

Plans are afoot in many countries to crack down on diesel vehicles following the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal and the EU is introducing tougher carbon dioxide rules.

Industry concerned

Responding to the government plan, Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said that the ambition is “extremely concerning”.

“The government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue. Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero-emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020,”.

“However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment,” he pointed out.

Ford, Volkswagen and Vauxhall are Britain’s biggest-selling car manufacturers. Tesla, Mitsubishi and BMW produce the top three selling electric cars in Britain.

Britain is Europe’s second-largest market for new vehicles. Currently, diesel and petrol models still account for 90% of sales.

The government said last year it was providing an extra 2.5 million pounds ($3.25 million) to fund the installation of more than 1,000 new charge points for electric vehicles on residential streets.