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The changes mean that sales of brand new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be allowed after 2030 in a bid to phase out polluting models to meet a 2050 zero-carbon target. The move will force drivers to switch to hybrid and electric models which will put major pressure on the green-friendly industry.
Tom Clarke, Head of Electric Vehicle Strategy at LV warned the ban “makes no sense” as hybrid cars would also be included in the sales barrier.
He said: “Bringing forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030 is a leap forward in terms of hitting the 2050 Net Zero commitment.
“But its impact is slightly diminished by the decision to let hybrid cars stay in showrooms until 2035.
“This makes no sense – hybrid cars, like their petrol and diesel equivalents, are polluters and in order to provide consistent and clear messaging to the public in the push to switch to EVs, they should fall in line with the 2030 ban.”
Currently just one percent of UK cars run on electric power with sales still just a shadow of the petrol and diesel market.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) revaled that sales of fully electric cars accounted for just 5.5 percent of the total market sales this year.
A total of 76,000 electric cars were sold compared to almost 800,000 petrol models and 230,000 diesel cars.
This is in a year which has proven difficult for the car industry with sales of petrol models down 39 percent on 2019.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes has warned that the car industry has an “enormous task” on its hands to ensure the switch is a success.
They warned that running an electric car is “very different” to a petrol or diesel car with drivers set to face a “big learning curve”.
He added: “With the Government formally bringing forward the date for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, the car industry and those responsible for charging infrastructure now have an enormous task on their hands.
“Production lines that for decades have been set up to build cars powered with internal combustion engines will have to be transformed to allow manufacturers to profitably build a wider range of EV models in sufficient quantities.
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“Meanwhile the country’s public charging network will need to grow exponentially to cater for the surge in EVs on the road.
“There’s also lots for consumers to get used to in order for them to feel confident about going electric.
“Running an EV is currently very different to a petrol or diesel car which can be refuelled in a matter of minutes, so those switching in the next few years face a big learning curve which involves different types of chargers, connectors and varying charging speeds.”
AA President Edmund King was slightly more optimistic adding that the updates will be a “welcome stepping stone” for many.
“We are pleased that the package of measures announced is more than just a date in the diary.
“By investing heavily in the national charging network, battery production and providing incentives will help.
“The concession for hybrids will be a welcome stepping stone for fleets and individuals before going fully electric.
“One of the biggest challenges will be for carmakers to change more than 100 years of combustion engine production to cater for an electric future within a decade.”
In the new £12billion green budget, it is expected that £1.3billion will help to accelerate the roll-out of new charging infrastructure across the UK.
Surveys have previously shown that concerns over charging an electric car was one of the biggest barriers to take-up and will need to be addressed before the end of the decade.
It is expected that £582million wlll help drivers to afford zero or ultra-low emission cars with almost £500million spent on producing batteries for electric models.
Amanda Stretton, Transport editor at Centrica said: We welcome the Government bringing forward the ban to 2030 to encourage electric vehicle uptake, it’s something we’ve been asking for a while.
“However, it’s important that we now address the supporting structures needed to deliver the ban.”
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