No new petrol and diesel sales from 2030 and no hybrids from 2035
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has now confirmed that the UK is going ahead with the 2030 ban on combustion-engine cars and vans. Which we talked about only a couple of months ago. The initial Government's target was 2040 but has been changed to 2035. This comes after experts said it would be too late for the UK to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050. This new official date bringing the ban 10 years forward results from Boris Johnson's push for more determined action on climate change and a plan to create jobs in industries such as nuclear energy.
When we initially talked about the Government's plan to bring in the ban, new hybrid car and van sales were to end alongside petrol and diesel vehicles. Still, according to the new plan, the Government won't ban the sale of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Which can travel a significant distance on battery power before switching to a conventional engine for an extra 5 years.
It's all a plan
The ban on non-electric vehicles is a part of Boris Johnson's 10-point climate plan, which includes:
1. Offshore wind: quadrupling offshore wind power to 40 gigawatts by 2030 - enough to power every home in the UK, and supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
2. Hydrogen: having 5 gigawatts of "low carbon" hydrogen production capacity by 2030 - for industry, transport, power and homes - with the promise of a town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
3. Nuclear: investing £525 million towards new nuclear power as a clean energy source, based on "the next generation of small and advanced reactors", which could support 10,000 jobs.
4. Electric vehicles: a ban that we talk more about in this article.
5. Public transport, cycling and walking: promoting as well as investing in zero-emission public transport, making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel.
6. Jet zero and greener maritime: supporting greener energies in planes and ships with £20 million committed to the marine sector.
7. Homes and public buildings: £1 billion investment next year to insulate homes and public buildings, using the existing green homes grant and public sector decarbonisation scheme - making homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy-efficient, including a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
8. Carbon capture: an extra £200m invested in carbon capture initiatives - developing world-leading technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.
9. Nature: protecting and restoring the natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year.
10. Innovation and finance: developing cutting-edge technologies and making London "the global centre of green finance".
More electric vehicle funding and grants confirmed
While the Government announced the new date for the ban, it confirmed that there will be £1.3 billion for electrical vehicles charging infrastructure, £582 million in grants for buying new zero ultra-low emission vehicles, and nearly £500 million for the development and production of EV batteries.
It's time to start acting now
Head of Consultancy at Lex Autolease said: "This is a seismic step towards delivering on Government's Road to Zero policy and one we are fully in support of". However, it simply won't happen overnight. Petrol and diesel-powered cars accounted for 73% of new car sales this year so far. 2030 will come around remarkably quickly for businesses with large fleets of traditionally-fuelled cars and vans. With the new target, they'll have just over two replacement cycles to make the shift. Although more businesses are exploring switching to EVs already, today's announcement makes this transition much more pressing, and firms will need to start to act now."
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes said: "We share the Government's ambition for leadership in decarbonising road transport and are committed to the journey". Manufacturers have invested billions to deliver vehicles that are already helping thousands of drivers switch to zero. Still, this new deadline, fast-tracked by a decade, sets an immense challenge. We are pleased, therefore, to see the Government accept the importance of hybrid transition technologies. Which drivers are already embracing as they deliver carbon savings now - and commit to additional spending on purchase incentives." He also cautioned the announcement of funding for EV manufacturing: "Success will depend on reassuring consumers that they can afford these new technologies, that they will deliver their mobility needs and, critically, that they can recharge as easily as they refuel. For that, we look to others to step up and match our commitment. We will now work with the Government on the detail of this plan, which must be delivered at a pace to achieve a rapid transition that benefits all of society, and safeguards UK automotive manufacturing and jobs."
Leasing and rental industry body, BVRLA, released a statement on the decision: "All [BVRLA members] are committed to decarbonising, but some face a much harder challenge than others. Many fleet operators are unable to source appropriate EVs for their needs. While others have a business model that struggles to absorb the additional cost and charging constraints of running EVs. 2030 is an extremely aggressive phase-out target, but one that will be embraced by many drivers and fleet operators. The 2035 extension for plug-in and full hybrids provides an essential lifeline for those facing a greater zero-emission challenge. Vehicle rental companies and van fleet operators will be very relieved to have this additional breathing space. Still, they will need clarity on exactly what types of hybrid are in scope."
The BVRLA added: "Now the Government needs to create the supportive environment that will enable fleets and motorists to step up to the challenge of decarbonising road transport. It won't be easy, and it won't be cheap."
How is Commerical Vehicle Contracts helping customers switch to electric vehicles?
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Contact us today, and we'll help you find your perfect e-car or e-van and an affordable EV leasing deal.