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Ban on fossil fuel vehicles to be brought forward

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The UK is expected to bring forward the ban on sales of new fossil fuel vehicles from 2040 to 2030 to encourage more motorists to drive electric cars and help the government hit its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The plans were apparently due to be outlined this week, but this was delayed due to the rising number of Coronavirus cases. Now the announcement is expected sometime this autumn, alongside other proposed clean energy policies aiming to drive a green economic recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Bringing the ban forward to 2035 from 2040 was previously considered, but environmental organisations such as Friends of the Earth stated this wasn’t enough and the ban should start in 2030. 

There were initially concerns that the infrastructure in the UK wouldn’t be ready for a ban to come in any earlier, but according to Graeme Cooper, the director in charge of National Grid’s electric vehicle project, they’re unfounded. 

Cooper told the Guardian that the grid operator was “confident that a faster transition is possible”, it’s “suitably robust” and would cope with rising electricity demand.

According to the National Grid’s estimations, it’d take less than a third more energy than the current British demand of 300 terawatt hours to electrify all road transport (apart from heavy goods vehicles), something Cooper stated “the grid could easily cope with”.

Starting the ban in 2030 will bring the UK into line with Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, and ahead of France where the ban will begin in 2040. Norway’s ban is due to start in 2025. 

EVs are a hot topic at the moment, so we’ve put together an interactive map of the most EV-friendly towns and cities are across the UK. Take a look at Electric Cities for more information.

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