UK to ban petrol and diesel car sales from 2040

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The car sales ban will include hybrid models and comes as part of a wider plan to tackle air pollution across the UK

2017-07-26 09:40

The UK will ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 onwards, including hybrid models, as part of a move to tackle air pollution.

The sales ban follows an earlier air quality draft report published by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in May this year.  The Environment Secretary Michael Gove will publish the full air quality plan later today following months of consultation and legal battles.

In addition to the sales ban, the Government is proposing introducing more ‘clean air zones’ across the UK - charging drivers of high polluting vehicles has yet to be ruled out. A targeted diesel scrappage scheme is also potentially on the cards. Councils with local pollution hotspots will be required to lay out their plans by March 2018 and finalise them by the end of the year. 

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Petrol and diesel ban: battle against poor air quality

The Government estimates that poor air quality poses the largest risk to public health in the UK, costing the economy £2.7 billion in lost productivity. To combat the health epidemic, the Government wants to accelerate the uptake of green vehicles across the country.

Local authorities will be able to dip into a £3 billion fund on improving air quality. The air quality package is said to include £290 million towards a national productivity investment fund which will go towards low emissions taxis. 

In addition, councils will also be handed a green bus fund to convert existing public transport, and £1.2billion towards cycling and walking schemes, as well as £100 million to tackle roadside pollution.

Hydrogen cars: everything you need to know

Road infrastructure will also be changing, with £255 million towards changing road layouts such as speed bumps, speed limits and roundabouts, in addition to reprogramming traffic lights. The Government will also invest £100 million towards improving the UK's charging infrastructure. 

While some will question whether £100 million is enough to bring the UK's charging infrastructure up to standard by 2040, Chargemaster told Auto Express it believes "the UK's charging infrastructure will be ready by 2040" to handle a sales ban on petrol and diesel cars. A spokesman told us: "Yes, we will be ready by 2040. The infrastructure is growing rapidly. Five years ago there were around 3,000 public charging points, today there is over 13,000 - and there's a huge increase in home charging." 

Chargemaster also pointed out that the majority of charging takes place at home. "We see around 100,000 home charging sessions per month, compared to 5,000 public charging sessions." However, for those drivers without access to home charging, Chargemaster says it's already rolling out 25 rapid charging stations per month and expects this to increase in the future. 

"Though funding from the Government is always welcome, the private sector is taking the lead here and we will be ready by 2040."

The UK isn't alone in announcing a ban on the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040. France's newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, announced a similar ban earlier this month in order to ensure the country is able to meet emissions targets agreed under the Paris climate accord. 

Petrol and diesel ban: latest news and comment

UK petrol and diesel ban - Curated tweets by AutoExpress

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