The ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars is being brought forward to 2030, the government has announced.
The announcement forms part of a 10 point plan designed to help it hit its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The plan includes:
Sales of new hybrid cars and vans will still be allowed until 2035.
The aim is to make use of £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, with the hope that this will drive over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.
These plans were first due to be unveiled in September, but the announcement was delayed due to a rapid increase in Coronavirus cases.
The reaction to the announcement has been mixed. Some motor industry groups have voiced their concerns, with Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) CEO Steve Nash commenting earlier this week:
“Currently around 5% of UK automotive technicians are adequately trained to work on electric vehicles. How do you ramp up electric vehicle adoption if the myriad of users – from private motorists to fleets operating cars and vans, blue light vehicles and more – can’t be confident they will be able to access the expertise to service and repair these vehicles safely?”
Environmental activists, campaigners and scientists want to take things further, with a group signing a letter last week stating: “the ideal solution to the climate crisis would be to go beyond net zero, and start to restore the climate.”
And although it has long been expected that the ban on fossil fuel vehicles would be brought forward, research from Kwik Fit makes it clear that there’s a way to go before the majority of UK drivers are convinced that electric vehicles are for them.
Just 8% of car owners expect that their next vehicle will be fully electric, with the usual key concerns being quoted as the main barriers:
But it looks like people have started to weigh up their EV options. Online car supermarket BuyaCar found daily searches for electric cars increased by 500% in the 24 hours after the government’s announcement, going from around 300 to 1,679.
If you’d like to read up on the electric vehicle options available to you, take a look at our guides: