The UK government has unveiled a new plan to ban the sale of cars using petrol or diesel by 2035. Peter Campbell of the Financial Times reports:
The UK government’s new target to ban the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035 has been slammed as unworkable by the auto industry, which warned it would lead consumers to hold on to polluting cars for longer.
Ministers had previously set a target to phase out “traditional” petrol and diesel sales by 2040, which excluded some hybrid cars that use both engines and batteries.
But the move to bring forward the ban by five years — part of a broad package to reduce the UK’s emissions to net zero by 2050 — and extend it to all hybrid cars would outlaw 98 per cent of vehicles currently on sale, forcing consumers and businesses to buy electric or hydrogen powered cars.
Announcing the move on Tuesday, prime minister Boris Johnson said the government plans were subject to consultation and that he would be looking for it to come into force earlier “if a faster transition is feasible.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders described the new policy as a “date without a plan”.
Its chief executive Mike Hawes said that meeting the new goals would take “more than industry investment.” He urged the government to offer clear buying incentives for consumers, while making sure that people from “all income groups and regions” are able to afford cars. “This is about market transformation,” he said.
Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, said the extension of the ban to all hybrids risked “backfiring” as consumers would hold on to older, polluting vehicles for longer out of fear of being unable to sell the cleaner hybrid in the future.
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