UK prepares to ban new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030

The UK government has said it is bringing forward the proposed ban by a decade, as it pushes a green industrial revolution.

The United Kingdom is set to introduce a sales ban on all new cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) driven by traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel.

While hybrid vehicles will be available initially, the UK government has made clear its intention to only allow vehicles with zero emissions to be sold from 2035.

The ICE ban had originally been set for 2040, but the UK government brought forward its proposal earlier this year. The state of California in the US introduced similar plans in September 2020.

Under the UK proposal, only hybrid powertrains capable of driving “significant distance[s]” on purely electric power will be allowed to be sold in Britain and Northern Ireland. Those mandated distances have yet to be outlined.

From 2035, only fully-electric vehicles will be allowed to be sold, as the UK aims for a target of zero net emissions by 2050.

The government has also announced a support package worth £1.8 billion, of which £1.3B (AU$2.4B) will be used to expand the country’s electric car charging infrastructure.

The conservative UK government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, says the move could help to create up to 40,000 additional jobs.

“Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future,” Prime Minister Johnson said on the announcement.

Australia’s emissions policies lag the developed world

It’s estimated nearly a quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by road transport.

In May 2019, academic-based publication The Conversation claimed AU$1 billion in fuel could have been saved by Australian drivers had stricter emissions standards been introduced in 2016.

Australia’s emissions regulations are based on the Euro 5 standard, first introduced in 2009. In Europe, stricter Euro 6 standards came into effect for ‘light’ passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles in 2015.

In August 2020, the Federal Opposition told CarAdvice the Australian Government was “asleep at the wheel,” after the local automotive lobby group introduced its own voluntary emissions targets.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) announced the voluntary targets in July 2020, in response to Government inaction on emissions standards.

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