Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2030, Boris Johnson has confirmed.
The move brings the ban on new conventional cars and vans forward by 10 years from 2040, although sales of some hybrid vehicles will be allowed until 2035. It aims to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles to cut climate emissions and air pollution, as part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’ to boost jobs and cut emissions to net zero by 2050.
The PM outlined new investment of £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints in homes, streets, and on motorways, to make electric vehicles easier to charge up, and £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to help reduce the costs.
Nearly £500 million will be spent in the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, helping to boost manufacturing bases including in the Midlands and North East, he said.
The Government will also launch a consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs to clean up freight transport, though no date has been set.
Elsewhere in the 10-point plan, there are moves to have the UK’s first town entirely heated by hydrogen by the end of the decade, a renewed push on nuclear power and support for restoring nature and for walking and cycling.
Mr Johnson, who has already highlighted plans to power every home in the country by offshore wind within 10 years as part of his vision, said the moves would support up to 250,000 jobs. The ban on petrol and diesel cars is to encourage Brits to go electric.
He will meet with businesses on Wednesday to set out planned regulatory changes and discuss their contributions.
The Government also said new investment formed part of £12 billion mobilised for the plan, though Labour said only £4 billion of the funding was new and called for a much bigger investment in a green recovery. The UK has legal a target to cut greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, requiring huge cuts to emissions and any remaining pollution from hard-to-treat sectors such as aviation ‘offset’ by measures such as planting trees.
There is also pressure on the UK to set out ambitious action to tackle the climate crisis as hosts of the United Nations Cop26 summit which was delayed by the pandemic and is now taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.