The transport secretary has said that sales of new petrol and diesel car models, including hybrid models, will be banned earlier than initially planned.
The UK ban on new petrol and diesel vans and cars could now come as early as 2032, according to the transport secretary. The ban was originally expected in 2040, which was an ambitious move already, but Grant Shapps bringing it forward a few years is actually the least significant announcement: The fact that plug-in hybrids are also being banned has concerned the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders gravely. The fate of hybrids has been in question since the ban was announced in 2018, but it was assumed that plug-in hybrids would still be allowed.
The news means that only electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Jaguar I-Pace will be sold as new in just 15 years. New hydrogen cars will be allowed from 2035, but the only such vehicles currently made by mainstream manufacturers are the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo: neither of which are available yet on the general market.
The UK is well-placed to take advantage of the new ban: Jaguar Land Rover has announced a £1billion investment in electric car manufacturing in the UK, and Nissan’s Leaf is being built in Sunderland. The wider car industry, however, has invested heavily in plug-in hybrids, and the oil companies will be getting particularly nervous – especially if the idea is also adopted in other countries.
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