The Government has announced that the ban of petrol and diesel vehicle sales in the UK will be brought forward five years from 2040 to 2035. The change won’t come as a big shock to many people as industry experts had already predicted the original 2040 deadline would have been too late if the UK is to meet its target of getting very close to zero emissions by 2050.
What might come as something of a surprise is that the revised plans will now also include a ban on the sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2035 too. Boris Johnson has even stated that the government would not be averse to implementing the ban before 2035 if it is possible to do so.
How Will the Ban Affect Diesel, Petrol & Hybrid Car Owners?
The 2035 deadline is a ban on sales only and will not as such mean drivers will have to immediately discard their existing vehicle if it is NOT a full electric model.
However, motorists will need to consider that more city centres and areas of the UK plan to introduce schemes like the Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London and potentially even stricter areas for vehicles like the proposed ZEZ or Zero Emissions Zone in Oxford’s City Centre. Drivers will have to think a little more about where they travel in their conventionally fuelled vehicles in the future and potential tariffs.
In short, for drivers of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars or even for those thinking of purchasing a new car there’s no immediate panic to switch to full electric.
On average people keep their cars for 4-5 years so there’s potentially 2-3 cycles of new car buying before motorists will have to seriously think about full electric. In the meantime, if you’re not ready to make the plunge to a full-electric car, a plug-in hybrid may be a good option to bridge the gap in readying for the post 2035 transition.
Why Has the Ban Been Brought Forward?
The Government has been under-pressure to review the original 2017 decision from the Technology Advisory Body and environmental organisations, who wanted the ban to be brought forward from 2040 to 2035.
Environmental organisations have made their point by comparing the UK’s commitment with some of our European counterparts who have much more ambitious plans in place to reduce emissions. Some European countries have set a deadline as early as 2025 for a ban on petrol and diesel-powered cars, whilst many others have a deadline of 2030.
What Does This Mean for Plug-In Hybrids?
As stated, the ban will include all hybrids, including sales of plug-in hybrids. If we look to back to 2018, when the government stopped its financial incentive of £2,500 for qualifying Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs), the writing was probably on the wall then. A government subsidy of £3500 for full electric vehicles remains in place, for the short-term anyway.
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