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Ford boss urges government not to ban plug-in hybrids

Time 5:02 pm, February 13, 2020

PLUG-IN hybrids should be removed from government plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars as early as 2032, according to a senior figure at Ford.

Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, claimed the vehicles – which contain an electric battery and a regular combustion engine – can be an ‘important part of the technology mix’.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps – who hung on to his job in today’s cabinet reshuffle – said yesterday that a consultation on banning the sale of new conventionally fuelled cars and vans would include 2032 as a possible cut-off date.

Boris Johnson last week announced the government’s intention to bring in the ban by 2035 at the latest – five years earlier than had previously been proposed – with plug-in hybrids added for the first time after previously being excluded.

That led to protests from car manufacturers that the government was ‘moving the goalposts’.

The government currently plans to include hybrid cars in the ban amid concerns that some owners aren’t using their electric capability.

Asked if banning hybrids would be a mistake, Rowley told BBC 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money: ‘We’d like them to consider that. Particularly plug-in hybrids. For people who are travelling long ranges, we think they can be a really important part.

‘We shouldn’t be technology-specific. We need to look at the outcomes we can achieve.’

MORE: Ban on sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles ‘could come in 2032’

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