Currently reading: Petrol and diesel car sales ban could come in 2032
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tells the BBC that the ban on sale of non-zero emissions cars could be brought forward again from 2035 date
James Attwood, digital editor
News
4 mins read
12 February 2020

The proposal to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel-engined cars - including hybrids and plug-in hybrids - by 2035 could be brought forward by a further three years, according to transport secretary Grant Shapps. 

Speaking as a guest on BBC Radio 5 live, Shapps said the ban would happen by 2035 "or even 2032", before stating there would be consultation before any decision is made. 

The accelerated plan to bring the ban from 2040 to 2035, proposed last week has already been branded "extremely concerning" by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The move, which is five years earlier than previous plans, was announced by prime minister Boris Johnson at the launch of the COP26 climate summit as part of measures to help the UK achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

However, SMMT boss Mike Hawes claims the government has "seemingly moved the goalposts" without a clear plan in place to achieve the goal. 

"Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero-emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020," Hawes said. 

"However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment.

"This is about market transformation, yet we still don’t have clarity on the future of the plug-in car grant - the most significant driver of EV uptake - which ends in just 60 days’ time, while the UK’s charging network is still woefully inadequate.

“If the UK is to lead the global zero emissions agenda, we need a competitive marketplace and a competitive business environment to encourage manufacturers to sell and build here. A date without a plan will merely destroy value today.

"So we therefore need to hear how the government plans to fulfil its ambitions in a sustainable way, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to deliver air quality and climate change goals now.”

In confirming the plans, the government said it "will continue to work with all sectors of industry to accelerate the rollout of zero-emissions vehicles - helping to deliver new green jobs in the UK".

"The prime minister will use the speech [at the COP26 summit] to call for international efforts to reach net zero as early as possible through investment in cleaner, greener technology, preservation of our natural habitat and measures to improve resilience to climate change impact."

In 2018 the government announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 onwards as part of the Road to Zero Strategy, but it said that ultra-low-emissions vehicles – including hybrids and plug-in hybrids – emitting less than 75g/km of CO2 would still be allowed.

However, the new plan will ban the sale of any vehicle that is not zero emissions. Based on current technology, that would allow only electric or hydrogen vehicles to be sold. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Back to top

The plan is subject to consultation, with the government suggesting that it could be brought forward from 2035 “if a faster transition was possible”. Some government advisers have called for the ban to be introduced by 2030 at the latest.

A total of 37,850 battery-electric vehicles were sold in the UK last year. While that number was a 144% increase on 2018, it still represented just 1.6% of the total UK car market. By comparison, 1,498,640 petrol-engined cars were sold (64.8% of the total market) and 583,488 diesels (25.2%). 

The number of electric vehicles sold is poised to expand massively in coming years, as a flood of new mainstream vehicles reaches the market, the technology reduces in cost and charging infrastructure is massively improved - and it is likely that the bulk of vehicles sold will be fully electric long before 2035.

Despite that, the move to ban hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales will be a blow to car firms that have invested heavily in the technology. Electrified vehicles have been considered an important stepping stone to reducing fleet emissions in line with ever-tougher European Union CO2 targets – which call for cars sold in 2035 to emit 37.5% less CO2 than those in 2021 – while EV technology is developing. 

The government has launched a series of policies to promote the uptake of EVs, and sales of plug-in hybrids fell sharply last year after the removal of grants for buyers of them.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “This government’s £1.5bn strategy to make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible is working; last year 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.”

READ MORE

New tax rules to herald EV sales boom

New electric cars 2020: what's coming when

Analysis: Just how green are electric vehicles?

Join the debate

Comments
80

3 February 2020

I applaud this strong and courageous proposal by the UK- although 2035 is a rather optimistic deadline. A gradual ban towards 2045 seems more realistic.

4 February 2020
FRI2 wrote:

I applaud this strong and courageous proposal by the UK- although 2035 is a rather optimistic deadline. A gradual ban towards 2045 seems more realistic.

It’s vacuous posturing by a clueless government.

Industry is begging for a detailed plan. Government offers sound bites. Announcing a ban in 2035 is easy for this PM. He avoids any of the work required to get there.

4 February 2020
Ok, here's the details.

No fossil fuelled vehicles to be sold from 1 / 1 2035.

4 February 2020
I guess you can always buy across the border and bring it in...

5 February 2020
- EsDesign to reveal the simplest, & best, EV driveline -

EsDesign™ Co, located in Chonburi Province, Thailand, will disclose its patent pending EV driveline in the near future.

Using a radical rotor topology, the EsDrive Driveline provides the least friction, least weight and lowest parts count; handling, packaging and NVH are also greatly improved. Driveline friction will be close to halved, (low single digits), weight even more, with an extremely low unsprung weight possible.

There are no limitations to size, weight or torque capacity of the basic design; from personal scooters, right up to military behemoths, when designed to the application. Initially, it will be used for city cars and commercial vehicles; development for performance vehicles will follow.

The EsDesign Driveline will greatly reduce the cost of EVs, finally making them more economical to purchase than equivalent ‘ICE’ (internal combustion engine) vehicles; running costs will also be considerably less. Reduced friction and weight will provide a greater range with a given battery, or the same range, with a smaller / lighter / more economical battery.
...................................

EsDesign was founded by automotive engineer & industrial designer Stuart Saunders, who studied at UNSW on a traineeship with Leyland Australia. One of his first automotive inventions was a progressive rate, programmable rate independent suspension system for the rear of the Mini, with only one moving part for 2 wheels. Some of his later inventions were a number of 4WD systems, a no friction limited slip differential, and a 6W/°C CPU cooler.

For anyone interested in Electric Vehicles, EsDesign holds the IP on the most important development in EV drives for many years.

Stuart Saunders
EsDesign Co., Ltd.
P.O. Box 7,
Ban Amphur,
Chonburi,
Thailand.
Ph +66 (0) 8 0002 1166
Skype - Stuart51

13 February 2020
Nailed it.

4 February 2020
Just jumping on another bandwagon.

Boris is all Bluff and Bluster. He's busted, he needs to hide his disastrous Brexit somehow. Even on Brexit Day he was in hiding!

Boris is unfit to be PM; he just wanted the title and popularity, not the responsibility.

4 February 2020
Great news. This should be easily obtainable. Definitely no hybrids. I have a PHEV on lease. It actually gets me free City centre parking, but the range is poor, in winter it can be as little as 10 miles with heating on (I live on a hill). If I preheat the car for 15 mins I use 20% of the battery pack. The app automatically does it for 30 mins but god only know how much range that would cost. What I am saying is electric journeys make up only 60% of our city journeys even though we try to hit 100%. But if we had an EV with 200 mile range we could forget to charge for a couple of days, or go out in the car 10 mins later and still still be using electricity.

Infrastructure needs to change. New car parks should have AC charger in 50% of parking spaces or 150kwh+ DC in 5% of spaces to get planning permission. This would add some extra infrastructure quickly, and within a year or 2 these businesses will massively benefit as people can easily and charge whilst visiting.

Also each car should be tied to a household energy plan. So that no matter where you charge you pay the same rate for charing on AC as you would if charging at home. This is just added to you electricity bill electronically without any extra fobs, or apps or companies to sign up to. Simply login to you energy supplier type in your vehicle registration and it should be able to charge up when you plug in. DC chargers with speeds of 50kwh-350kwh could charge 10-100% more to cover the set up cost. We need government leadership here, as the current system is a mess.

5 February 2020
Onlineo wrote:

Great news. This should be easily obtainable. Definitely no hybrids. I have a PHEV on lease. It actually gets me free City centre parking, but the range is poor, in winter it can be as little as 10 miles with heating on (I live on a hill). If I preheat the car for 15 mins I use 20% of the battery pack. The app automatically does it for 30 mins but god only know how much range that would cost. What I am saying is electric journeys make up only 60% of our city journeys even though we try to hit 100%. But if we had an EV with 200 mile range we could forget to charge for a couple of days, or go out in the car 10 mins later and still still be using electricity.

Infrastructure needs to change. New car parks should have AC charger in 50% of parking spaces or 150kwh+ DC in 5% of spaces to get planning permission. This would add some extra infrastructure quickly, and within a year or 2 these businesses will massively benefit as people can easily and charge whilst visiting.

Also each car should be tied to a household energy plan. So that no matter where you charge you pay the same rate for charing on AC as you would if charging at home. This is just added to you electricity bill electronically without any extra fobs, or apps or companies to sign up to. Simply login to you energy supplier type in your vehicle registration and it should be able to charge up when you plug in. DC chargers with speeds of 50kwh-350kwh could charge 10-100% more to cover the set up cost. We need government leadership here, as the current system is a mess.

You think that your stated situation would improve with a BEV?!

Both the BEV and PHEV use a PTC heater - the same amount of energy will be used. You will use a significant amount of said 200 mile range pre-heating the car in the BEV.

You would need to charge it daily, just as you do the PHEV. Except the PHEV's range can be extended in 5 minutes at a petrol pump...

It will take decades for charging stations to become as ubiquitous as you say, but they won't need to.

The government 2035 ban is the date of the beginning of the end for mass car ownership. We are regressing to the Victorian era, with your electric horse and cart attending your front door to whisk you away.

There seems a clear misunderstanding that this is a loss of liberty.

12 February 2020
I love my car. However, I recognise that for about 80% of the day, may be more, it sits unused in my work car park and on my drive.

I would be really happy to be picked up by a driverless taxi that could drop me off at work and then move on to the next pick-up. Delivering better use.

I could then keep my ICE for purely pleasure journeys.

Give "Rise of the Robots" a read to see the impact that robotics will have on the global economy and on our lifestyles

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review