The UK originally planned to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2040, but the deadline will now be pushed forward to 2030. That gives the internal combustion engine 10 years more to live. Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to announce it this week as part of a wider package of green initiatives, the Financial Times reports.
Earlier this year, the PM mentioned that he was bringing forward the ban on the sale of new ICE cars from 2040 to 2035, but this will now be 2030 in an attempt to boost the market for electric cars in the UK. However, hybrid cars are set to get a stay of execution, and sales of these electrified cars will go on till 2035. One in four cars sold in the UK contains some form of hybrid technology and it’s not yet clear what kind of hybrids will be considered.
The FT points out that while sales of EVs are rising, they’re still low, at below 7% of all new vehicles bought across the UK last month.
Carmakers argue that major funding for infrastructure is required to convince motorists to switch to EVs, which at present are more expensive than ICE-powered vehicles. In response, the UK government will roll out some £500m of funding for charging infrastructure from next year. The sum will help finance new grid connections to allow remote facilities such as highway petrol stations to install fast charging points.
The biggest and earliest proponents of hybrid cars have lobbied for a later deadline for the electrified cars. Both Honda and Toyota have British manufacturing plants, and the latter has warned that banning hybrids would jeopardise future investments in the UK. Honda said the switch to a full EV landscape within 15 years is “too narrow”.
“There are technological and resource constraints that will be more difficult to overcome and which mean that battery electric cannot replace internal combustion engines in all segments,” Honda added, while committing that all of its cars sold in the UK will be hybrids by 2022.
Keen to burnish the UK’s green credentials ahead of next year’s UN Cop26 international climate summit in Glasgow, Johnson’s announcement this week is expected to include pledges on increased use of offshore wind for electricity generation, tech to capture and store CO2 and deploy hydrogen as a power source, the green light for new nuclear power stations, and funding for small modular reactors, among other green measures.
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