New petrol and diesel cars could be banned from as early as 2030 under Government plans to speed up the green transition, it was reported last night.
Many Tory MPs are putting pressure on ministers to phase out polluting vehicles and accelerate the switch to electric cars.
The current deadline for the end of sales of combustion engine cars is 2040 but a consultation began earlier this year on bringing that forward to 2035 or even sooner.
The Government is due to publish its response to the consultation next month and is seriously considering endorsing the 2035 deadline, The Times reported.
Meanwhile, the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s independent advisory body, has already urged ministers to adopt an even earlier target of 2030.
That demand was backed by more than 100 Tory MPs earlier this month as part of a plan to ‘build back greener’ after the pandemic.
Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the next decade would put the UK in line with countries including Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden which have 2030 as their target.
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, owns an electric car and has previously spoken of a possible 2032 deadline.
Ministers could choose to adopt a two-tier approach, with a ban on pure petrol and diesel cars set for 2030 and the phasing out of hybrids by 2035.
An early phase-out of new fossil fuel vehicles is seen as a vital part of the effort to reach net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. There are also growing fears about toxic pollution in cities.
However, battery-powered cars accounted for just 4.7 per cent of all car sales in the first seven months of this year.
Motor manufacturers, already hit hard by coronavirus and Brexit, will likely resist the move, and there are concerns that a rapid shift to electric cars could overload the UK’s power supply.
But Graeme Cooper, electric vehicle project director at National Grid, insisted there was capacity to cope with an increased demand for power.
He said: ‘About a third of CO2 emissions in the UK come from transport so the government has to really turbo-charge the decarbonisation plans here to get the UK trajectory to meet the net-zero targets.
‘We are confident that a faster transition is possible and we are suitably robust to cope with the forecast uptake in electric vehicles.’ Ends
Gallery: Countries still banking on fossil fuels (Lovemoney)