The UK Government has confirmed that the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be moved up to 2030. The move follows significant pressure from both companies and industry groups.
Announced today as part of the UK Government’s new 10 point plan for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, the ban on new diesel and petrol cars in 2030 means that car manufacturers will have to stop selling polluting cars a full 10 years sooner than originally planned.
A chorus of voices have called for the ban to be brought forward to 2030, with BP and Shell joining the Electrical Contractors Association and the Labour Party in demanding the change. It’s thought that the UK’s transition to electric vehicles could help it achieve its net zero target by 2050.
Not everyone is on board
Despite many pushing for the ban to be brought forward, there are some that are uneasy with the move. Immediately after the announcement, the Automobile Association’s president, Edmund King, warned that a lack of on-street charging facilities could be an issue if the UK presses forward with the ban.
In a statement to Sky News, King noted, “”Everyone wants to move to electric vehicles but you can’t just pick a date out of the air. We need better infrastructure particularly for the third of people who can’t charge at home.
“We also need a better supply of cars and they need to be affordable.”
The Automobile Association doesn’t share that concern, however. The Electrical Contractor Association, which pushed for the 2030 date, also cautioned that the Government would need to spend more on EV charging infrastructure if it hopes to achieve widespread electric vehicle adoption.
The ECA for its part has called for a minimum of six DC charge points in operation in every motorway service station in the UK by 2023, as well as wider deployment across the entire road network. With estimates in July noting that the UK currently has 18,000 public chargers, it’s clear a lot of work needs to be done if the network is going to handle the more than 38 million cars currently registered in the UK.
The car industry is getting shaken up
While several manufacturers have gone all-in on electric vehicles, namely the Volkswagen Group and Tesla, there are some hold-outs. Toyota is still yet to debut a fully electric vehicle in the UK market, meaning it will be significantly impacted by a 2030 ban. Of course, the company would still be allowed to sell its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, although it’s hardly a sales success.
The entire car industry will need to get onboard with the UK’s 2030 ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles, however. That’s because the UK doesn’t stand alone in setting 2030 as the cut off date.
So far, more than 14 countries and 20 cities around the world have proposed banning the sale of cars powered by fossil fuels. That includes massive markets such as California, China, France, Germany, India, Spain and the United Kingdom, all of which have varying dates but will force an enormous shift in car manufacturers’ approach to electric vehicles.