The government of the United Kingdom (UK) is on course to confirm it will bring forward an embargo on the sale of new combustion-engined automobiles from 2040 to 2030 in a bid to rev up large-scale electric vehicle (EVs) utilisation, although hybrid cars will be permitted to operate till 2035 under the revised proposals.
The much-awaited decision will be confirmed this week being part of the mix of green initiatives Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared. Since this autumn, the declaration has been delayed many times on account of the government’s attention on the coronavirus pandemic.
A blueprint seeking an end to gasoline and diesel-fuelled cars (including hybrids and plug-in hybrids) by 2040 became public two years back, as a component of the government’s grand plan to attain net-zero carbon emissions three decades from now. That was prior to a proclamation this year by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that such a move could be taken by 2035 or probably 2032 if the situation permits.
The public was given the liberty to hand in their opinions via an online consultation process that expired at the end of July.
Much as the proscription on pure combustion engine petrol and diesel cars have been brought forward, the news that hybrid automobiles can be sold until 2035 will be a fillip to the industry, considering that EVs still constitute a small portion of total orders.
Albeit the type of hybrid systems to be permitted during the five-year period remains vague.
The attack on the proposed plan tends to premised on the limited state of the charging network in the UK, widely regarded as incapable of accommodating a large number of EVs.
Last May, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warned that the initial 2040 date wasn’t soon enough to meet the net-zero target, requesting the government to “continue to support the strengthening of the charging infrastructure, including for drivers without access to off-street parking.”
The government then ramped up its EV charger fund allocation by 100% to £10 million in January this year in a bid to boost EV adoption in urban areas. It equally intimated that some of the money could be earmarked for developing a charger monitoring platform that is accessible to the public and which could then be incorporated into satnavs and route-planners.
Three Labour shadow ministers – Matthew Pennycook, Kerry McCarthy, and Alan Whitehead – in a letter to Shapps said 2030 would be “an ambitious and achievable phase-out date for new ICE vehicles.”
Pennycook went further to say “2030 is an ambitious but achievable date by which to phase out the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles, one that would give a new lease of life to the UK car industry whilst combatting climate breakdown and cleaning up the air that dangerously pollutes so many of our towns and cities.
“But as well as accelerating the phase-out, the government must also set out a credible plan to get there – one that backs the low-carbon jobs and industries of the future and ensures that workers and communities are properly supported in the transition to a fairer and cleaner economy.
“It’s time for ministers to seize this opportunity as part of a world-leading green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, creating good jobs across the country and generating real momentum for next year’s COP26 climate summit.”