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Ban on petrol and diesel car sales could be bought forward to 2030 as ministers aim to cut pollution quicker

Time 1 year ago

The ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars could be bought forward to 2030 – and hybrids just five years after that – as ministers aim to cut pollution quicker.

The ban – which would give conventional internal combustion engined cars just 10 years left on sale – is being ‘seriously considered’ by the government, The Times has reported.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps – himself an electric car owner – is said to be particularly keen on bringing forward the ban which had been scheduled for 2040.

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The Committee on Climate Change has advised ministers to adopt the 2030 target and now more than 100 Conservative MPs have endorsed the plan.

The ambitious target is likely to be met with some resistance from the motor industry, already reeling from the pandemic and Brexit.

There are also concerns that the infrastructure in the UK simply won’t be able to cope with the increase in electric vehicles.

The increased demand for electricity could overload the UK’s supply as millions of people plug their vehicles in at home to charge.


Electric car owners already have a poorly maintained charging network to cope with across much of the UK and the roll out of new charging points would struggle to keep up.

Currently, although growing, electric cars account for just 4.7 per cent of the total sold – but they are increasing.

Most manufacturers have introduced electric or hybrid models and there will be a flood of them in the years to come.

The ban being bought forward is part of the government’s plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As most cars remain on the road for 15 years, banning the sale of conventionally powered cars earlier will help achieve this target.

It is thought one plan being considered will see combustion engined cars banned from 2030 and hybrids phased out by 2035.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told the paper: ‘While we applaud the report’s ambition, a zero emission Britain needs a world-class package of long-term incentives and massive investment to expand the charging network.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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