Electric car being charged, via PAElectric car being charged, via PA

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Sunak commits to 2030 petrol and diesel ban saying a change of policy would be damaging

  • Rishi Sunak plans to phase out new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030
  • Timeframe for the transition will be available within weeks
  • DfT has recommended the current plan remain unchanged
  • 22 per cent of new car sales will need to be electric next year

Time 8:37 am, September 16, 2023

Prime minister Rishi Sunak is committed to a firm 2030 deadline for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, according to the Times, acknowledging that a change of course now would damage the industry.

Ministers are now expected to set out a the schedule for the transition within weeks, following years of calls from car manufacturers for more guidance on the switch.

The newspaper also reports that along with the 2030 deadline remaining in place, minister will also be sticking to targets for electric vehicles.


It is reported that as part of the Mini plant Oxford deal announced earlier this week, ministers promised to not relax targets although the company says it didn’t make this a requirement of the agreement.

Many Tory backbenchers who applied pressure on Sunak to relax net-zero plans will be unhappy with the move coming after the PM promised to be ‘proportionate and pragmatic’ with changes earlier in the year.

This week the House of Lords inquiry has continued with experts from National Grid and Zapmap undergoing scrutiny about EV charging infrastructure in the UK.


The Department of Transport has said that current plans, which will say 22 per cent of new cars sold in 2024 must be electric, should remain largely unchanged.

Consumer confidence in electric vehicles and the UK charging infrastructure have long been concerns with the legislation.

The government wants 300,000 public charge points in the UK by 2030 but the latest figures from the DfT show the total is currently just over 44,000.

A DfT spokeswoman told the Times: ‘We’re engaging closely and constructively with industry as it works towards phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.’

Speaking to the Times, David Bailey, professor of business economics at Birmingham University said: ‘companies investing very heavily in electric vehicle production in the UK want [the 2030 deadline] to go ahead to ensure there is a market.’

He added: ‘Certainty is key. Companies want to know what they’ve got to aim at.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.



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