Petrol and diesel cars could be banned in the UK by 2032
Last year the Government announced that it would be banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2040.
The announcement was made to help allow Britain to achieve its pollution targets and push motorists towards buying lower emission variants such as electric, hydrogen and plug-in hybrids.
Transport is the worst sector for carbon emissions in the UK, which why there have been calls to have a more “ambitious plan” to tackle the problem.
A ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars could be brought forward as MPs call for the ban to be introduced in 2032.
MPs have said the new target would accelerate the uptake of electric cars across the country.
Ministers have also been told they must “get a grip” and tackle the growing infrastructure problems associated with electric cars across the country.
The parliamentary Business Committee warned that a lack of charging points is driving many motorists away from purchasing an EV.
The Government’s targets have been blasted for being “vague and unambitious” and the lack of clarity on which cars will and will not be sold after 2040 has been deemed “unacceptable.”
MPs want the Government to be more ambitious with their targets
The UK’s target for 2040 sees it fall behind other countries such as Norway, which wants to end sales of combustion engined cars by 2025, India, China, the Netherlands and Ireland with a 2030 goal and Scotland with a target of 2032.
MPs have said introducing a clear target about how cars and vans can be “truly zero-emission” in conjunction with bringing the date forward to 2032 could se the UK become a world leader in electric vehicle development and technology.
They added that regulations need to be introduced to provide an extensive, reliable ands standardised public network.
Committee chairwoman Rachel Reeves said: “The Government cannot simply will the ends and leave local government, or private companies, to deliver the means.
“The Government needs to get a grip and lead on co-ordinating the financial support and technical know-how necessary for local authorities to promote this infrastructure and help ensure that electric cars are an attractive option for consumers.”
It also called for the Government to subsidise rapid charge points in remote and rural areas.
The “sudden and substantial” cut to the Government’s plug-in and electric car grants were also criticised.
Ministers want more support for lower-income families to be able to purchase an electric car whether that be in incentives, car clubs and the second-hand market.
Ms Reeves said: “Electric vehicles are increasingly popular, and present exciting opportunities for the UK to develop an internationally competitive EV industry and reduce our carbon emissions.
The Government recently cut the plug-in hybrid car grant
“But, for all the rhetoric of the UK becoming a world leader in EVs, the reality is that the Government’s deeds do not match the ambitions of their words.”
She added that “the UK Government’s targets on zero-emissions vehicles are unambitious and vague, giving little clarity or incentive to industry or the consumer to invest in electric cars”.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “We understand the rationale behind wanting to bring forward the end of the sale of conventionally fuelled vehicles to 2032, but this would have to be matched with bold and decisive action from the Government that actually makes hitting the new date possible.
“There are still significant barriers that are putting drivers off alternatively fuelled vehicles – these include the upfront cost, access to charging infrastructure, and ease and time to charge a vehicle.”
But industry body Energy UK’s chief executive Lawrence Slade said: “We firmly support the Committee’s call for greater ambition and believe that an accelerated timetable for the rollout of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is both desirable and feasible.
“Given the widespread benefits EVs and other low carbon transport will bring for customers, our environment, the economy and future energy system, there is every reason to press ahead and cement the UK’s position as a global leader in low carbon transport without delay – and that’s why we have already called for the Government to commit to a more ambitious timetable for the phase out of diesel and petrol vehicles.”
A Government spokesman said: “Our Road to Zero Strategy outlined our ambition for the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle.
“As part of this, we want between 50% and 70% of new car sales to be ultra low emission by 2030, and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.
“And we also outlined measures to bring forward a major uplift in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, paving the way for the widespread adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles.”