- The ban on the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars has been pushed back from 2030 to 2035 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in what he describes “a new approach to achieving net zero”.
Defending the change, Sunak explained that the Government was "working hard" to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicles (EVs).
“I’m proud that we’ve already attracted billions of new investments from companies like Tata's Jaguar Land Rover gigafactory, and I expect that by 2030, the vast majority of cars sold will be electric... because the costs are reducing, the range is improving the charging infrastructure is growing.
People are already choosing electric vehicles to such an extent that we're registering a new one every 60 seconds… But I also think that at least for now, it should be you, the consumer that makes that choice, not Government forcing you to do it, because the upfront cost still is high, especially for families struggling with the cost of living.
… We need to strengthen our own auto industry so we aren’t reliant on heavily subsidised carbon intensive imports from countries like China.
“So, to give us more time to prepare, I'm announcing today that we’re going to ease the transition to electric vehicles, you'll still be able to buy petrol and diesel cars and vans until 2035.”
The postponement of five years aligns the UK's timeline with the European Union's intentions to prohibit the sale of new vehicles running on fossil fuels.
In June, the EU Parliament endorsed a proposal from the European Commission to enforce a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars starting in 2035. These EU plans, unveiled the previous year, aimed to achieve complete elimination of CO2 emissions from new cars sold by 2035.