The UK Government is highly likely to maintain its ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 as part of its efforts to establish a zero-carbon economy. Despite pressure from some right-wing Conservatives to delay the green pledge, car manufacturers are urging the government to uphold the commitment to provide stability. Manufacturers have begun designing vehicles that will be available for sale in 2030, highlighting the importance of maintaining the ban for long-term planning.
During the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Electrified 2023 conference, Cabinet Minister Mark Harper emphasized the significance of transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) correctly. He underscored the crucial role of road transport in achieving the nation’s climate goals, as the sector is responsible for 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Harper acknowledged that reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 hinges on cleaning up cars and vans, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity.
The recent Tory by-election victory in Boris Johnson’s former seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip has prompted the government to review its green pledges. The expansion of the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) in London, implemented by Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, played a decisive role in the Tory win. The Ulez scheme imposes a daily charge of £12.50 on vehicles failing to meet emissions standards and now covers all London boroughs.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has maintained his support for achieving net-zero targets without burdening drivers or bill payers. Although he has faced pressure from backbenchers, Sunak has remained firm on the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel vehicles. Speaking at the SMMT conference, Harper reiterated the Prime Minister’s stance, expressing the government’s commitment to back motorists while encouraging the automotive sector to develop greener vehicles. Harper emphasized that the government’s objective is to empower individuals to travel freely while aligning with environmental goals.
– Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Electrified 2023 conference
– Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election result
– London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) expansion