Updated: Britain to ban petrol and diesel car sales from 2040

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans are set to be banned from 2040 as part of efforts to tackle air quality issues, under plans due to be announced by the UK Government.

The move would see all new models on sale from that date need to be electrified, with models powered by petrol or diesel alone banned. Plans state: "The government will end the sale of all conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040".

According to the government's classifications of how cars are powered, there are categories for petrol, diesel, and alternatively fuelled vehicles. This last category includes both PHEV models and conventional hybrids - such as the Toyota Prius - alongside zero-tailpipe emission powertrains such as pure-EVs and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

The proposal will be put forward as part of the Clean Air Strategy, due to be published later today before a High Court deadline of 31st July. The total cost of proposals is around £3 billion, with £255 million available to help councils tackle diesel emissions at a local level.

Details will hopefully be made clearer with the publication of the plans, and the latest set of proposals gaining more respect from campaigners after a number of drafts deemed to be illegal by the High Court.

Previous proposals such as traffic easing measures and clean air zones will remain from the previous draft, but the new ban follows France's lead in talking more significant action against petrol and diesel car sales.

A diesel scrappage scheme is expected to be considered, but after continued consultation. Ministers are conscious of not alienating and punishing a large number of drivers that were encouraged to buy diesel cars no so long ago.

The proposals are boosted by recent announcements such as BMW's confirmation that the electric Mini will be built in Oxford, Jaguar Land Rover's commitment to electric cars such as the I-Pace, Volvo's move to only build electrified models from 2019, and electric plans from other British-based manufacturers and those with factories here.

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:26th Jul 2017

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