Hybrid vehicles have now also been included in the plan, so consumers will only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars and vans once the ban comes into effect. The 2040 ban had already been considered ambitious, and the fact that both hybrids and plug-in hybrids will also be banned will be worrying news to the Motor Trade.
Mr Johnson said “As we set out our plans to hit our ambitious 2050 net zero target across this year, so we shall urge others to join us in pledging net zero emissions.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a global Britain is prouder to serve.”
The government said the ban could even be “earlier if a faster transition is feasible”.
Edmund King (AA president) said: “Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging.”
On the bringing the ban forward he said that while drivers “support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions”, it was necessary to “question whether we will have a sufficient supply of a full cross section of zero emissions vehicles in less than fifteen years.
“We will also need a package of grants coupled with a comprehensive charging infrastructure at homes and in towns, cities, motorways and rural locations. At the very least the Government should take up the AA demand to cut VAT on new EVs to boost sales and make vehicles more affordable to those on lower incomes”.
The fate of conventional hybrids have already been in the balance since the 2040 ban was announced as part of the Government’s Road to Zero strategy back in 2018, but it had been assumed plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) running on battery power alone for up to 70 miles would be spared.
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The announcement will cause concern to an already challenging motor trade industry which has invested heavily in PHEVs, as these new and used cars sold typically emit as little as 50 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.
Some UK consumers may also be worried, as while there has been Government investment in both chargers and wireless charging points, no insurance policy has been provided on how those without off street parking will be able to charge vehicles overnight.
Grant Shapps, the UK Transport Secretary said, “This government’s £1.5bn strategy to make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible is working – last year alone, a fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes. We want to go further than ever before.
That’s why we are bringing forward our already ambitious target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to tackle climate change and reduce emissions.”