Currently reading: 2035 combustion engine ban: last chance to have your say
Government seeks views on proposal to ban sales of all new non-zero emission cars and vans by 2035 or earlier
James Attwood, digital editor
2 mins read
31 July 2020

Today is the last day members of the public can submit their views on the government's plans to end the sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans by 2035 or earlier.

The online consultation process was originally due to close at the end of May. However, that end date was extended to the 31st of July, likely to prioritise dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the plans in early February, as part of an initiative for the UK to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The government wants to bring forward a planned ban on the sale of petrol- and diesel-engined vehicles from 2040 to 2035 – or earlier “if a faster transition appears feasible” – and expand it to include all non-zero emission cars and vans. That means the ban would include hybrids and plug-in hybrids, which would have been allowed under the original plans.

Autocar's manifesto: Why Government must rethink the 2035 combustion ban

The proposals have a mixed response from sectors of the motor industry, with Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders calling them "extremely concerning", and Ford's European boss, Stuart Rowley" saying they were "not helpful".

In particular, the government is asking for input on the phase out date, the definition of what should be phased out, and barriers to achieving the proposals. It has also asked respondents to consider both the measures required by the government and other groups to achieve the earlier phase out date, and the “impact of these ambitions on different sectors of industry and society.”

Details on where to submit feedback to the proposals are are available on the UK government website.


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22 February 2020

The inclusion of hybrids is a mistake I think. Their use could be seriously helpful in the progression to all electric and would serve to ease those areas of the economy and society that will struggle to gain access to charging sites.  

Hybrids could be regulated to limit ICE sizes, and should serve for another decade while the other areas of the infrastructure grow and become more common place.

22 February 2020
If we stopped spurious emissions from government we'd all be better off!

Or we could install a hot-air wind turbine above Westminster and other parliaments. That should generate quite a bit of power.

But if you look at how much BS is generated around all levels from local councils upwards then we really need an engine that runs off BS. Limitless supply of BS, and it is renewable too. We need the Bull Sh*t Engine, or BSE for short.

We need BSE!

22 February 2020

And in any event asking the public what it thinks is not the way to decide. We are not medical or environmental experts, nor are we able to gauge the cost / technical difficulty / unforseen consequences of making a wholesale switch to EVs.   

22 February 2020
Neither is the Government! To not question governments on every step is a quick way to despotism! Besides, battery technology will need to vastly improve for its energy density to match that of petrol or diesel. Also, how are we supposed to meet the demand for electricity that will come from the millions of EV's that will be bought to replace ice cars.

22 February 2020
Don't be so f*cking ridiculous.

22 February 2020

Ha ha ha...  The idea that Joe Public sends a letter or email to the address stated and someone at the other end opens it up and reads it let alone takes any account or actions what the letter says.

You can just imagine them all sitting around the cabinet table in Downing Street when the transport minister speaks...  Our latest update. A Mr JonBoy4969 of Browns Lane, Coventry has witten in suggesting we retain JLR's petrol and diesel engines as they are so reliable, economic and environmentally friendly.


22 February 2020
scotty5 wrote:

Ha ha ha...  The idea that Joe Public sends a letter or email to the address stated and someone at the other end opens it up and reads it let alone takes any account or actions what the letter says.

You can just imagine them all sitting around the cabinet table in Downing Street when the transport minister speaks...  Our latest update. A Mr JonBoy4969 of Browns Lane, Coventry has witten in suggesting we retain JLR's petrol and diesel engines as they are so reliable, economic and environmentally friendly.


"I write in the possibly misguided but positive hope that this public consultative process is genuine and not a PR campaign to mask a fait accompli.
While I've been an advocate for electric vehicles for around thirty years, I do however have concerns over the following points:

I believe it's unwise for the sale of new hybrids to be phased-out by 2035, as hybrids act usefully as a lead-in to using EVs for drivers who presently have no experience with them and are nervous of making the leap. And also, I'm confident that retaining the sale of hybrids for longer would likely serve to accelerate take up of EVs in the longer term.

We cannot currently guarantee that street-based charging facilities will be available for the many households that cannot rely solely on charging sites - particularly those in rural communities who would need to travel some distance to charge-up, and who would have legitimate range anxiety issues.

Government needs to send a clear message to British drivers that they are totally committed to an accelerated roll-out of charging sites, not forgetting rural communities. These sites need to be far more reliable than they are now, and much simpler to use. Drivers shouldn't be required to keep various connectors and converter cables in their boot, or have many different phone apps just to charge their car. We currently have universal-fit petrol pumps, so we should have universal-fit charge points.

We cannot count on technology being sufficiently advanced by 2035 (or guaranteed access to sufficient rare earth metals, for instance) to provide the necessary leaps in battery effieciency (and at affordable costs) to satisfy the present demands of drivers. So I would propose an exemption for hybrids for at least a further five years.

Are there government studies either already available or currently underway that estimate the required improvement to electricity generation and infrastructure (including how such costs might be met) to evalute EV use to rise from <10% in 2020 to >90% by 2035? For example, if more and more households install "power wall" charging facilities, these will require local neighbourhood transformers to be upgraded. Can it be proved that such increased demand for electricity can be met by 2035?

I'm also concerned about expecting SMEs, and especially sole-traders such as the large numbers of plumbers, electricians, builders, taxi and delivery drivers etc to move over to solely EVs by 2035. These people are the backbone of commercial Britain and we should not risk pricing them out of being able to afford replacement vehicles. While there are presently EV taxis, they are currently very expensive and out of the price range of many owner-drivers. Retaining hybrids for commercial vehicles such as smaller vans would to my mind be a sensible move. Also, if commercial diesels can be made much cleaner as we approach 2035, why phase them out at all?

Finally, I wonder if poorer members of the community (especially those who are rurally-based) have been considered adequately regarding the expectation on drivers who presently rely on commuting to work (due to unavailability and/or high costs of public transport) to purchase either new EVs or attempt to select from a limited pool of older secondhand EVs - which would retain value due to comparative scarcity. Many of these individuals (who would rather not get drawn-in to taking out large loans for newer EVs) can only afford vehicles of ~ £2,000 or less, so I do hope they will not be forced out of their petrol and diesel vehicles too hastily by draconian rises in vehicle exise duty or extra tax on fuels - remember what happened in France when Macron tried this in 2018, and the ensuing Yellow Vest protests.

Anyway, I hope common sense prevails"


23 February 2020
Well reasoned and written Battered Civic.
I was considering how my reply to this question might look, and quite frankly I couldn't do any better.
I like the fact that you have also considered Rural dwellers, many of whom do not have access to the finances that new EV's (or even 2-3 year old EV's) would need. Many have absolutely no access to public transport even if they would want to put themselves through this inconvenient solution. I don't see these individuals ever making the switch to EV as the infrastructure will never be there ( its not as though there is an air quality issue here anyway) .....there is just no ROI for the suppliers to contemplate building such a service. We will have moved on to Hydrogen by then!
Hybrids should be retained for a longer period, I agree. It is the gateway to EV for the nervous, and with good reason given the likelihood of infrastructure actually being in place by the due date.

24 February 2020
Thanks for your encouraging comments. I hope more readers take some time to vent their concerns to the govt consultation, and maybe, just maybe they might take on board and implement some of the suggestions.

1 August 2020

I agree - my response was not anywhere as detailed as yours, but along similar lines.

The government should be dictating the target, not the technologies. Then the market can develop solutions. They can achieve the same effect by fiscal policy; a vehicle carbon tax. I thought it was stupid that George Osbourne abandoned the carbon emission road tax system instead oif simply changing the bands. 

I don't know, and neither does the government, what innovations in combustion engines, hybrids, fuels etc. there might be. There is an implicit assumption that EVs have no carbon footprint, which is clearly not true, as a lot depends upon how you generate the electricity. Prof. Porter of Harvard stated that good environmental policy dictates the ends, not the means.

I remember being taught how the government stopped a lot of research into renewables in the 1970's as they didn't believe they would work.

I also agree, that an unintended consequence might be that some people are forced to carry on with their older more polluting vehicles and the fall in emissions that they expect won't happen. We are already seeing A segment cars disappearing and being replaced with SUV type vehicles.


I don't hold out much hope though as the consultation is being done by OLEV, when it should have been the Treasury.


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