The Scottish Government has announced that it plans to phase out non-electrified petrol and diesel cars by 2032; eight years ahead of the UK Government’s outright ban.
Although no ban for Scotland was announced, the Scottish Government highlighted its “bold new ambition on ultra-low emission vehicles, including electric cars and vans, with a target to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032”.
The Scottish Government’s ambitious plan involves expansion of its charging network, investment in innovation and parallel schemes to implement low emission zones to improve air quality, and encouragement of walking and cycling.
These low emission zones will be in Scotland’s four biggest cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee - and will cover all areas of road traffic, including freight and public transport vehicles.
Scotland’s environmnet secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “As well as pushing ahead with the decarbonisation of road transport, we have also announced plans to introduce low emission zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020 – improving air quality and making our city centres a more desirable place to live, work and visit.”
Critics of the announcement, which was initially made on Twitter, pointed out the softer wording than the UK Government’s outright ban and highlighted the scale of infrastructure improvement required to realistically achieve the goal.
Experts have predicted that, within the timeframe of the UK Government's 2040 ban on sale of petrol and diesel cars, there will be very few of these cars on the market anyway, given the expansion of the hybrid and electric vehicle segment in recent years.