The sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK could now be stopped in 2035, five years earlier than was initially proposed by the government.
In addition, plug-in hybrids as well as conventional hybrid vehicles will be banned from this date.This means that only pure electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles will be available for sale.
“Demonstrating the UK’s urgent action to reduce emissions, the government plans to bring forward an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition is feasible, subject to consultation, as well as including hybrids for the first time,” a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed.
Subsequently, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the ban could come in as early as 2032,
According to a report on the BBC news website, the change in plans, which will be subject to a public consultation, comes after experts warned that 2040 would be too late for the UK to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050 as there would still be many older, conventional cars on the roads.
AA President Edmund King commented: “Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions, but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging.We need a package of grants coupled with a comprehensive charging infrastructure at homes and in towns, cities, motorways and rural locations.”
And RAC spokesman Simon Williams added: “While the government appears to be constantly moving the goalposts forward for ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles, drivers should not be worried about opting for a plug-in hybrid now.
“They are potentially the perfect stepping stone for those who want to go electric, but who have concerns about range, as they aren't as expensive as a battery electric vehicle.At the moment, they give drivers the best of both worlds.”