Currently reading: UK's new petrol and diesel car ban could be enforced from 2030
Government committees' new proposals aim to bring forward the ban on combustion engine-only cars in a bid to lower pollution
Sam Sheehan
3 mins read
16 March 2018

The UK’s ban on new petrol and diesel cars could be brought forward, possibly to 2030, if plans laid out by MPs get the green light.

The respective committees for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environmental Audit; Health and Social Care; and Transport have published a report that claims the Government’s current plan to ban the sale of new pure combustion engine cars by 2040 "lacks ambition” and are requesting the introduction of more drastic measures.

The 2040 ban, which would only allow the sale of electrified cars such as hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric models, was announced last year as part of a £2.7 billion plan designed to cut pollution. It came in light of research that described UK air quality issues as “a national health emergency”.

In the new report, the committees urge the Government to make its own air quality plans that match more stringent targets put forward by other countries. City councils in Germany were recently granted the right to ban diesel cars in their urban centres, while leaders in Athens, Madrid and Paris have outlined their intentions to ban diesel vehicles by 2025.

Scottish government proposals have suggested banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.

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The report describes the current petrol and diesel car ban legislation as inadequate to address “the scale of the challenge”. It claims that around 40,000 people die in Britain each year due to air quality related conditions, costing the country around £20 billion a year. “It's unacceptable that successive governments have failed to protect the public from poisonous air," the committees state.

The Government’s latest air quality plans also come under attack; they're labelled as an exercise in "box-ticking" and evidence that the Government has not yet “demonstrated the national leadership needed to bring about a step change in how the problem of air quality is tackled”. The report suggests that the introduction of a new Clean Air act to streamline the approval process for new legislation.

The report also urges car manufacturers to put their electric cars into production as quickly as possible. Several, such as such as Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, have already announced plans to electrify their entire ranges, while others, such as Polestar, are being launched with exclusively electrified models.

First Volvo electric hatchback due in 2019


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Diesel cars in particular have fallen victim to the Government’s recent emissions-fighting tactics. A new diesel car tax increase was announced in last year’s Autumn Budget, while several local councils are charging diesel car owners higher parking fees. Several major car makers have fought back, however, arguing that new diesel vehicles should not be penalised, due to the fact that they're much cleaner than their predecessors.

Diesel car sales have tumbled in recent months; they accounted for 42% of all new cars sold in the UK in 2017, a 17% drop year-on-year. Last month, sales of diesel cars were down by 23.5% compared with February 2017.

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16 March 2018

having owned 2 hybrids so far, i have no fear of the new technology, but before 2030 surely we need to look at where polution is coming from. I imagine most Nox and particulates are coming from older cars, vans, buses and commercial vehicles. Given that around half of cars are diesel, but the other areas are almost exclusively diesel, perhaps we should be looking at more than just banning what by 2030 will be pretty clean cars, and instead getting the old diesels off the road, not just cars, but all the heavy poluters.

My fear is that politicians will try to out bid each other to bring forward the ban, without any understanding of the technolgy.

We also need to know what will and wont count as electrified. Afterall, Suzuki have a mild hybrid system, and to call it a hybrid at all is being generous. If all manufacturers have to do is stick that sort of system on their cars, it wont be a ban anyone will notice anyway.

16 March 2018

Not very clever burocrats as usual.

Lets force our people to buy expensive and maintenance heavy Hybrids or be early adopters of full electric cars with technology that will be outdated 5 years from purchase. It's not their problem, we will keep working and pay for our toys while they sit around on theyre leased company vehicles that they do not pay a cent for.

16 March 2018

If you only ever drive, go for a walk along a not-so-busy road.  The thing you'll most notice are the smells - sometimes from an obviously-petrol car, and most often from diesel vehicles.  It's horrible.  People go on (rightly) about making kids walk to school, but when they do, they are bathed in cancer-causing fumes...every day.  This is wrong.  2030 is a good date to switch over to electric, it gives manufacturers 12 years.  2040 is too long.  There will have to be exemptions - for old Land Rovers and Cobras, but perhaps a hefty tax will be appropriate for those who still want to hang onto vintage cars.  I find it odd that companies like Ssangyong still have most of their fleet drinking diesel with no plans for electric.  Then let them play catch-up, for their inability to foresee what has been so obvious for the past five years.  Volvo look to be ahead of the game, and even McLaren fail to see what is staring them in the face.  12 years, gentlemen.  It isn't long, and it can't come soon enough.

16 March 2018

In those so called ban for combustion cars, Mclaren already has an Hybrid right now that would qualify to be sold as new from 2030 onwards, its called P1.

16 March 2018

. Great! Let’s go for it, but, wait a minute, 2030 maybe the cut off date, but, how long will it take to replace all the pollution Vehicles...?, that’s not going be a matter of Months!, and where will the Government get it’s lost Tax revenue? Because the Motorist was the Cash Cow for decades, to suddenly remove this there must be a Tax to replace it, maybe a pay per mile scheme? Where you pay your share of using the Roads, what about insurance, will it go up or down with Ev’s?, there are I’m sure many more questions, but, trying to remove them by 2030?...a bit optimistic I think.

16 March 2018

I suspect that the "smart" motorways with their number plate recognition systems are the first sign of what's to come.  All vehicles (electric or ICE) will be charged by the mile to use these roads.

The alterrnative is to use the vehicle's mileage at an MoT test and charge for the distance covered since the last test - or since new. This could be used to take cars off the road if peple would not pay at the time to get their car back. The smart motorway charges would be payable in addition for those who wanted to travel quickly, just like the M6 toll road at present. 

I estimate that about 7p a mile would recoup all the fuel duty lost if everyone switched - so being a cynic, I imagine the Government would set a flat rate of 10p per mile.

As an amount in addition to paying for petrol or diesel, this would motivate people to go electric.

16 March 2018

I think I will be holding on to my 3.0 E39 for a might longer in light of this new's a good ol' girl and doesn't have to many gizmos. This news will no doubt give the car trade a welcome boost.

16 March 2018

What about the CO2 neutral biofuels?! Those cannot be banned technically, they are not either diesel or petrol based.

16 March 2018

I love the way these politicians say that "40,000 people die in Britain each year due to air quality related conditions" as if they are perfectly fit and healthy people who are dieing. Get real. These are elderly people with health problems most probably brought on by their smoking/drinking lifestyles who die a few weeks earlier than they would have done anyway.

16 March 2018
Jeremy wrote:

I love the way these politicians say that "40,000 people die in Britain each year due to air quality related conditions" as if they are perfectly fit and healthy people who are dieing. Get real. These are elderly people with health problems most probably brought on by their smoking/drinking lifestyles who die a few weeks earlier than they would have done anyway.


Harsh but true unfortunately.


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