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Diesel & Petrol Car Ban

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Advice is to move the date for the ban in the UK forward by 8 years earlier than originally suggested.

A new report has advised the government to bring the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars forward to 2032. The ban was originally slated for 2040, before being moved to 2035, but the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change says the date should move further still.

Back in February, shortly after the 2035 deadline was confirmed, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was considering whether 2032 would be a more suitable date. Now, the Committee on Climate Change says the ban should move forward by three years as part of a range of measures that would keep the UK on track to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Not only will the ban prevent the sale of conventional petrol- and diesel-powered cars, but it will also rule out the sale of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, leaving the new car market populated purely by battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars. And this rule won’t just apply to cars; vans and motorbikes would also have to move away from internal combustion.

The report, which was intended to provide a progress update on whether the UK is still on course for carbon-neutrality, said “surface transport” accounted for 24 percent of the UK’s carbon emissions in 2019, compared with 21 percent for industry and 18 percent for buildings. As such, the report recommended that ambitions for the sector should be “delivered and extended”.

Also among its recommendations was a suggestion that the government look into a diesel ban on heavy goods vehicles, with both hydrogen and battery power preferred. And the report recommended that until the ban comes in, manufacturers should be forced to sell a “minimum share” of zero-emission cars, building up to 100 percent in 2032.

The report has had a mixed reception, with some welcoming the news while others remain sceptical. Alfonso Martinez, managing director of leasing firm LeasePlan UK, said he supported the 2032 ban because the deadline should be “entirely achievable”.

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