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UK expected to bring forward petrol and diesel ban to 2030

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The UK is poised to announce a ban on new diesel and petrol cars by 2030, hastening the current target by five years, the Financial Times has reported.

Originally, measures were put in place to ban sales by 2040 as part of efforts to lower the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

In February, this timeline was accelerated to 2035 although both the Labour Party and big retailers pushed the Government to be more ambitious by bringing the date even further forward.

The UK has seen rapidly rising sales of electric vehicles in recent years, although figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show they still make up less than 7 per cent of the total for all new vehicles.

Citing unidentified industry and government figures, the FT said Prime Minister Boris Johnson now intended to move the date forward again to 2030 in a speech on environmental policy he is expected to give next week.

The new plans are reportedly less stringent than those set out for the 2035 date, as hybrid vehicles will not be included in the 2030 cut-off.

The new date comes as the UK tries to stage an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic; research commissioned and released by Greenpeace earlier this week showed that 32,000 more jobs would be created by a 2030 ban.

Responding to the reports, Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England said the move would signal the Government is “serious” in its commitment to climate action.

Gill Nowell, director at the association, said: “Whilst many cite range or chargepoint availability as an initial concern prior to purchase, overwhelmingly people who own an electric car love them as they say EVs (electric vehicles) are great to drive.

“There is much work to be done to get ready for mass-market adoption but if the reports are correct, this would signal to us that the Government is serious in its commitment to climate action, improving air quality and building new industries.”

National Grid said that to enable the uptake of electric vehicles, the energy industry will need to focus on ensuring there is adequate network capacity in the right locations.

Graeme Cooper, transport decarbonisation director, said: “This will give drivers consistency, continuity and therefore confidence that their first or only car can be electric.

“But the transition isn’t just about cars – we also need to see a broader strategy that covers rail, road, maritime and aviation, changing the way people and goods are moved.”

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