Fresh from its exit from the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom is now taking a very big leap in climate action. The UK government has announced that it plans to ban the sales of gasoline, diesel, and even hybrid vehicles in the country starting 2035. Yes, you read that right – even hybrids and plug-in hybrids will be banned.
This isn’t the first time that the UK has toyed with the idea of banning the sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles. In fact, the government previously set a target date of 2040, similar to France’s timeline, in order to achieve its target of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, experts in the UK believe that 2040 would be too late to achieve zero emissions by 2050. They say that old conventional cars would still be on the roads by 2050, still emitting carbon.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a Global Britain is prouder to serve. 2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming– it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, greener future for all,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Once the ban comes into effect, people in the UK would only be able to buy electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles. Though there are already several electric vehicles in the market, there still isn’t a lot of options to choose from. However, the UK government says that they will work with “all sectors of industry to accelerate the rollout of zero-emission vehicles - helping to deliver new green jobs in the UK”. Furthermore, they will also implement a £1.5 billion strategy in order to make owning an EV in the UK as easy as possible.
As a result of the ban, gasoline, diesel, and hybrid vehicles would be relegated to the used vehicle market. This then would possibly make it the only way to own an internal-combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicle in the UK by 2035 and beyond.
The plan to ban ICE vehicles has been going around in various countries such as France, Netherlands, and even Norway for some time already. However, it seems the UK is one of the first countries to really set things in motion. This also means that automakers will have to adjust their upcoming model lineup.