Government confirms 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars, unveils £20m electric vehicle package

The Government has officially confirmed that the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars has been moved forward to 2030, while also announcing a new £20m funding pot for electric vehicle (EV) innovation.

The Government’s new £20m fun will assist research and development competition for EV technology innovations

The Government’s new £20m fun will assist research and development competition for EV technology innovations

The Government has confirmed that the ban on new petrol and diesel cars has been moved forward to 2030, following a lengthy consultation. There are some exceptions to the ban, with some plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and some full hybrids still able to be sold up until 2035.

Transport is the UK’s largest emitting sector, accounting for more than 30% of national carbon emissions. While this does include aviation, road vehicles account for around 19% of all UK emissions.

Under Theresa May, the UK Government had initially introduced the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales with a 2040 deadline. Following criticism from green groups, including its own Climate Change Committee, over the policy’s alignment with the UK’s 2050 net-zero target, Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved in February to alter the deadline to 2035. 2035 is the date cited by the CCC in its initial recommendations framework on legislating for net-zero by mid-century.

With the ban confirmed, the Government has wasted little time in incentivising the market to promote EV innovations.

The Government’s new £20m fun will assist research and development competition, for EV technology innovations. Funding could potentially support zero-emissions emergency vehicles, charging infrastructure and battery recycling.

It builds upon the £1.3bn EV charging infrastructure commitment unveiled last year. Reports suggest that the UK needs to install five times as many EV charging points to meet its net-zero target.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Investing in innovation is crucial in decarbonising transport, which is why I’m delighted to see creative zero-emission projects across the UK come to life.

“The funding announced today will help harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry, encouraging businesses to become global leaders in EV innovation, creating jobs and accelerating us towards our net-zero ambitions.”

Responding to the announcement, the National Grid’s transport decarbonisation director Graeme Cooper said: “Banning the sale of new ICE cars from 2030 will cut carbon emissions and reduce air pollution. We’re pleased the Government has recognised how critical it is to accelerate the roll-out of the underlying infrastructure to facilitate to high power charging to enable the transition to EVs.

“We are confident that a faster transition is possible and the transmission network is suitably robust to cope with the likely uptake in EVs. If everyone in the UK switched to EVs overnight and used smart charging, we think peak demand would only increase by around 10%, which is still below historic peak demand.”

Matt Mace



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