BP is pushing for the UK Government to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030, effectively voting against its own interests.
As one of the UK’s largest oil companies, BP generates a considerable amount of its revenue from selling petrol and diesel. However, the company has been bullish about the transition to electric vehicles, providing one of the largest charging networks in the country in the form of Polar. The firm also manufactures its own EV chargers under the BP Chargemaster brand.
BP’s bullish attitude towards electric vehicles is one of the key reasons it is confident about bringing the ban forward to 2030. The company argues that the UK’s EV charging network will be robust enough by 2030 to enable the ban. The Polar network already includes more than 7,000 chargers, and the company has been on a rapid expansion program in recent years, including a partnership with M&S.
Joining a chorus
This is not the first time the Government has been urged to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles. The Electrical Contractors Association has also been eager for the ban to be brought forward, although the organisation did warn that the Government would need to concentrate on growing the UK’s EV charging infrastructure. Additionally, BP’s biggest rival in the oil industry, Shell has also called the ban on diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030 the ‘right policy’.
While the Government is said to be exploring the option of bringing forward the ban on diesel and petrol vehicles to 2035 or 2030, it could choose to disincentivise those buying fossil fuel-powered vehicles before the ban comes into effect. A report commissioned by the Department for Transport teases a possible £1,500 levy on polluting vehicles, while maintaining the incentives available to EVs.
This suggestion hasn’t been especially popular with the Society for Motor Manufacturers. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, commented, “We need positive measures, not those that penalise consumers who cannot yet afford the latest electric technology, do not have adequate charging facilities, or for whom driving requirements are not suited to electrification.
“To do otherwise could risk stalling fleet renewal and delaying environmental improvements by leaving them with no alternative but to keep their older vehicle for longer.”