Friday 20 July 2018

New diesel and petrol vans and cars banned by 2040

The government has announced its intention to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol-powered light commercial vehicles, as well as passenger cars, from UK roads by 2040.

The move aims to help curb air pollution and the estimated 40,000 premature deaths associated with it in the UK each year, and follows a similar announcement by the French government earlier in the month.

Full details are still emerging, but early reports claim that the ban will include hybrid vehicles, suggesting that only fully electric cars and vans will be sold in the UK from 2040, in addition to those powered by other alternative fuels such as hydrogen. The wording of the announcement suggests that trucks, buses and coaches will not be affected.

The environment secretary Michael Gove, who announced the plans on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, said the move would put the UK in “a position of global leadership” on shaping future vehicle technology.

“We can’t carry on with diesel and petrol cars – not just because of the health problems involved, but also because the emissions they cause mean that we would accelerate climate change [and] do damage to our planet for the next generation,” he said.

“We also need to take action now to deal with some specific health concerns which are raised by particular types of emission, which are predominantly… from diesel cars and other diesel vehicles.”

Mr Gove said that the government would provide more than £200 million for local authorities to help tackle air pollution. This could include retrofitting bus fleets with emissions reduction technology to cut nitrogen oxides (NOx), as well as restrictions on access to roads and routes which are particularly problematic in terms of air pollution.

“We’ll make it clear that local authorities must accelerate the progress that’s already been made,” he said.

When questioned about the prospect of further emissions charging schemes such as those planned for Greater London, Mr Gove added: “If a local authority believes charging is necessary in order to secure compliance, then we’ll work to ensure that that plan can be implemented appropriately. But on the evidence I’ve seen, while charging could bring local authorities into compliance with the law [on NOx emissions], it’s not necessary.”

The environment secretary also appeared to play down the efficacy of scrappage schemes, saying that people were already “quite rightly” moving away from diesel vehicles of their own volition. But he added that if local authorities could propose scrappage schemes that were “value for money and appropriately targeted”, then the government would have no objection to working with them to introduce such systems.

Some in the transport industry fear that allowing local authorities to set their own individual restrictions could result in a situation whereby operators are faced with the task of complying with different emissions standards every time they cross a municipal boundary. But Mr Gove said that, while a national strategy was now in place, varying patterns of vehicle usage and traffic in different parts of the country necessitated a localised approach.


  1. chris pell says:

    electricity is not free, will the infrastructure i.e power cables/house wiring and power stations be able to cope with the extra demand from millions of users, what will be the trade off in co2 and NOx from power stations, will we all have to have solar panels to charge our cars, or wind turbines in your garden?/

    • Mike Price says:

      The government, and most scientists, believe that technology will improve the efficiencies of the non-carbon power generation methods. The spread of solar, wind, wave and hydro power generation sites has already caused a significant reduction in the need for coal, oil and gas fueled power stations.

      Then there is the increasing efficiency and safety of nuclear power generation. Despite the problem with waste disposal there will be an increasing dependence on this as a means to ensure sufficient electricity is available at all times.

  2. Peter D Blackburn says:

    What will all the rest of the World be doing, what will this do to the car sales companies and car builders, how will you be able to go for a trip around the remoter parts of the UK will these super electric vehicle be able to go for 4/500 miles like some current Diesel powered cars can, Government ministers making decisions that will not be viable for us ..the common working man!!

    What about the Diesel wagons currently doing about 6 MPG will these be limited to 3000cc…!! Pie in the sky and NOT VIABLE FOR THE PUBLIC

  3. John L.Birkett says:

    What I say is what about the rest of the world ? how can our little speck of rock make the future of the world safe when others like America, Russia, China and India all ignore the standard we are trying to set.
    We all need work together .

  4. Bob Swift says:

    So what’s going to happen regarding boats, are we going to have battery powered sea going pleasure vessels,?
    Looks like we’re going backwards in time, will all boats be powered by wind,,!
    Its one big joke to these idiots in government,

  5. Joe Debono says:

    What the use of alternative fuels – electricity generation produces waste, nuclear, coal burning etc … What about biofuels, it will reduce the Nox emittions to nil with no real change required to existing engines and can include trucks and buses …

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