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ICE ban moves to 2035 and incorporates hybrids. Image by GEM.

ICE ban moves to 2035 and incorporates hybrids
Government brings forward petrol/diesel/hybrid new-car-sales ban by five years on climate grounds.
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The Government has announced that it is bringing forward the ban on the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered cars by five years to 2035, from its previously agreed date of 2040 - and, not only that, but hybrid vehicles are now also included. It means that, 15 years from now, all you'll be able to buy from showrooms across the UK are pure electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel-cell-propelled machines. Understandably, the decision to bring forward the cessation of internal combustion sales and to include hybrids in the ban has met with mixed responses from the motor industry. Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: "It's extremely concerning that government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue. Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero-emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020. However, with current demand for this still-expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it's clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment. This is about market transformation, yet we still don't have clarity on the future of the plug-in car grant - the most significant driver of EV uptake - which ends in just 60 days' time, while the UK's charging network is still woefully inadequate." However, road safety group GEM Motoring Assist's road safety officer Neil Worth said: "GEM welcomes this measure, which we see as an important step in tackling the climate emergency the planet is facing. In recent years, we have witnessed significant steps in the development of alternative-fuel vehicles, and we believe that any remaining concerns about range anxiety and inadequate infrastructure will be dispelled if we all work together to embrace the opportunities of a sustainable future on the roads. We believe that in order for this to succeed, we must have strong leadership and clear information so that road users understand what will happen and when it will happen, as we make ready for the ban in 2035." The decision to bring forward the deadline from 2040 to 2035 was announced ahead of a climate change conference, due to be held in Glasgow later this year, which will be called COP26. The Government decided to make the change to 2035 after experts advised that a 2040 ban on ICE-powered vehicles would be too late if the UK wants to meet a 2050 ambition to be a carbon-zero country.

Matt Robinson - 4 Feb 2020

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