Cars Banned! UK Petrol, diesel & hybrid car sales ban brought forward to 2035

Time is running out for the era of the traditional combustion engine!

1y ago

As a pukka petrolhead, this sounds like terrible news. The UK has brought forward its deadline on the ban on selling petrol and diesel cars - including hybrid cars! Previously the date was set as the year 2040, however that's now been revised to just 15 years from now - 2035.

A decade and half is really not that long, and whilst I suspect the car industry will be able to offer numerous and viable electric alternatives well before then, there are other questions about how Britain expects total vehicle usage - numbering over 38 million presently on our roads - to switch away from petrol and diesel entirely - which is what this ultimately about.

The British government was forced to change its plans under advisement from climate experts who insist that it would not be possible to meet the target of zero emissions by 2050, unless the ban was brought forward.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, made the announcement at a launch event for a United Nations Climate Summit that is due to be held in Glasgow in November and declared 2020 a "defining year of climate action", a call that was supported by Naturalist and powerful proponent for climate action, Sir David Attenborough. "It's up to us to put before the nations of the world what needs to be done. Now is the moment," he said.

The prime minister added that a "catastrophic addiction" to fossil fuels was "cloaking the planet like a tea cosy". Descriptive analogies aside, it will be interesting to see how the UK car industry and the trade will react to this news. The new date for the ban on petrol and diesel cars is subject to consultation and no doubt the car industry, already beseiged by Brexit, a Diesel cars sales slowdown, stringent emissions regulations and a decline in exports to the Chinese market, will have much to say about it.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT Chief Executive has responded: “It’s extremely concerning that government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue. Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020.

"However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment. This is about market transformation

"We need to hear how government plans to fulfill its ambitions in a sustainable way, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to deliver air quality and climate change goals now.”

However with burgeoning, very real climatic abnormalities witnessed very recently and the horror of those huge fires in Australia, all directly or indirectly as a result of humanity's impact on climate change, even octane-swilling car fans like me have to concede that there has to be change, and it has to happen now. Experts claim that unless they ban the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2035, a substantial number of petrol and diesel cars would still be on the roads by 2050 and the zero emissions target would not be met.

The bigger question remains over the infrastructure required to cope with a 100% switch over to electric cars, currently for most drivers and car owners in the UK, running an electric car remains difficult to unfeasible unless they have home charging available. As Hawes also says "the UK’s charging network is still woefully inadequate".

I've just posted my latest video update, which you can see on this page, in which I express the dilemma of the inconvenience of having to charge up a Plug-in Electric hybrid vehicle. It's not going to be easy.

Of course by 2050 I will be a couple of years past 80. So will I care? And surely there will always be classic cars to enjoy won't there? Thing is though, how will we run them when petrol stations start disappearing?

It's all part of a future I predicted in one more short stories a long while ago - click here to read it now!

Do you think this is the right policy? Comment below?

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Comments (50)

  • Yet another government knee jerk reaction not based on science. All products - like electric cars - need to be considered as an energy whole. Energy involved in manufacture + energy used during use + energy of recycling = total CO2 emissions. Viewed as a whole, electric cars are little better than any other fuel source. See carbon footprint websites. And renewables for power generation only work sporadically. It's dark for half the time and it's not always windy. Sometimes the UK is producing 70 per cent renewable fuel, but on windless nights it's coal and gas keeping the lights on. We need better renewable power tech, buy less, live more simply and buy local. And above all, have a whole life CO2 rating on everything we buy...

      1 year ago
    • All good points!

        1 year ago
    • Actually, it is very much based on science. The lifetime emissions of an EV are half those of a fossil fuel car, even with a far dirtier grid like the US:

      In the U.K., where more than half of electricity...

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        1 year ago
  • UK government once again bans something because they are too lazy to actually govern

      1 year ago
    • Point!

        1 year ago
    • Well, the country voted for BoJo knowing full well that his entire career thus far has been founded on telling porkies.

        1 year ago
  • Good policy, gives us plenty of time to get things sorted. There will be a lot more 'things' legislated such as onshore windturbines, energy reduction, regional and time dependant power costs.

    All doable, be interesting to see how we do it.

      1 year ago
    • Very interesting indeed.

        1 year ago
    • Probably one of biggest of those 'things' to watch out for is a zero carbon replacement for home heating. It will have to be done and dusted by 2050 so expect incentives to switch away from gas central heating soon (those boilers last a lot...

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        1 year ago
  • I think it’s funny that people think the British power grid can handle all those electric cars charging all the time, they are gonna be on for a rough time in 15 years

      1 year ago
  • What if a car manufacturer sells all their cars as used? 🤔

      1 year ago