Government to introduce a ban on new petrol and diesel cars in UK from 2030

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Today, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that no new petrol or diesel cars or vans will be sold in the UK after 2030.

This is part of the government’s new ‘green industrial revolution’, as the UK looks to tackle climate change, while also looking at creating new jobs in industries that will be most heavily impacted, like energy and manufacturing.

The news follows extensive consultations with car manufacturers, sellers, and the Prime Minister – who’s announcement today has accelerated the initial plans, by introducing the ban ten years earlier than planned. However, the UK will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035. The exact details for this will be released in due course.

To support today’s announcement, the Prime Minister has kickstarted a £1.3bn funding scheme to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars. £582m in grants will be given for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition.

The government will also launch a consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs but no date has been set yet.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050. 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.”

What is Boris’ ‘Ten Point Plan’?

The Prime Minister today sets out his ten point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’. Covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the Prime Minister’s blueprint will allow the UK to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050, particularly crucial in the run up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year.

Today’s plan will mobilise £12bn of government investment in order to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK.

A statement from the government read: “At the centre of his blueprint are the UK’s industrial heartlands, including in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, Scotland and Wales, which will drive forward the green industrial revolution and build green jobs and industries of the future.”

The Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson ‘Ten Point Plan’:

  1. Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
  2. Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
  3. Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source, across large scale nuclear and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs.
  4. Electric vehicles: Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.
  5. Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.
  6. Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.
  7. Homes and public buildings: Making our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
  8. Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today.
  9. Nature: Protecting and restoring our natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, whilst creating and retaining thousands of jobs.
  10. Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.

Industry reaction

Josh Hardie, Acting CBI Director-General said: “This plan represents a clear statement of intent from the Government. It gives a springboard to the huge opportunities for UK-wide investment and green jobs that a true low-carbon economy can bring. Business is fully committed to delivering a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

“From new wind farms and nuclear power stations, to hubs of low-carbon industry using carbon capture and hydrogen technologies, business investment will be key to making this vision a reality. Now Government and business must join forces to create clear pathways for sectors and communities to decarbonise, making the most of the diverse range of skills and expertise that exist in regions across the country.

“Some proposals, including the phase out date for new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles, are undoubtedly challenging. The promise of additional funding for the purchase and manufacture of zero emission vehicles, and the roll-out of charge points across the country are welcome. More, ambitious policy may be needed to support jobs in sectors such as automotive and deliver a fair, green transition.

“The build-up to COP26 offers a crucial moment for business and government to come together and get these plans in place. That’s a once in a generation platform to show the UK can lead the world in the technologies of the future and accelerate our response to climate change.”

James Hind, CEO and founder of Carwow said: “Any move to guarantee a ‘greener’ future is of course commended, and the events of this year – with so many less people on the roads and driving – has proven that air quality can be improved and Co2 emissions can be dramatically reduced with some affirmative action. Bearing that in mind, ten years isn’t an awfully long time in the grand scheme of things, so work to change the perception of Britons must start now in order to encourage even the most sceptical motorists make the switch to electric. If the groundwork isn’t put in place by the government and automotive industry, it would be no surprise if we saw sales of new cars plummet and second-hand cars rise as motorists cling on to ‘what they know’. The government would ideally begin its work by investing in the charging infrastructure, that is not currently fit for purpose. Another initiative to encourage a switch is a scrappage scheme, incentivising Britons to embrace EV technology and benefits with the lure of a financial gain. We know that these government incentives work because our German business saw a huge lift in consumers purchasing new hybrid and electric cars after the German government’s scheme was launched there.

“Monthly SMMT results of car registrations in the UK are reporting increases in EV and hybrid sales (year on year), again highlighting that the interest is there, and finding the perfect motivation to get them across the line is now of utmost importance in order to create a net-zero future. We can’t expect Britons to make the switch authentically before 2030, the infrastructure must be in place and at their current prices, incentives will significantly help make consumers buy electric.”

Seán Kemple, Managing Director at Close Brothers Motor Finance commented: “This year marked a fork in the road for the electrification of the UK car market. With consumer sentiment shifting in favour of greener roads, but economic hardship and reticence around public transport making diesel more appealing, behaviour could have gone one of two ways. Bringing forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, pushing both consumers and businesses to shift to alternative fuel vehicles.

“But while the ambition is admirable, the challenge is in the execution. We have around 18,000 public charging stations and 32,000 connectors in the UK – we are likely to need 25 million. Electric cars now hold over 35% of total new car registrations, and we could hit 400,000 total electric and hybrid new cars sold by the end of the year – but when you look at cars on the road, the proportion remains small. Pricing remains an issue and, although alleviating, consumer uncertainty around battery charging and range is still a hurdle to overcome.

“In short, a ban is step one in a long journey towards a ‘revolution’. The motor industry will step up to this challenge, with manufacturers, dealers, and finance providers all facing their own hurdles. Clarity is needed around the two stage approach with hybrids, the state of play in the used car market, and sales of new diesel and petrol cars over the next decade. Most importantly, the Government has a role to play. Just as hospitality and the property industry have been boosted by consumer incentives like Eat Out to Help Out and the stamp duty freeze, the cost of AFVs remains a glaring issue which cannot be resolved without support. Until that happens, the green agenda is competing with recovery from the pandemic; from a consumer perspective, it’s no surprise that short-term budgets will trump long-term ethics.”

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