Ban on new petrol and diesel car sales delayed until 2035

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a five year delay to the ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars in the UK to 2035

Exhaust

The Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel engined cars has been delayed until 2035, following a series of changes to the UK's 2050 net zero plans announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

Back in 2020, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel engined cars would be banned from 2030, with hybrid-engine models allowed to be sold until 2035; thereafter, all new cars in the UK would be EVs. However, the current Prime Minister has abandoned this plan to appease voters and some Tory backbenchers (although many within the Conservative party urged Sunak to stick to the original deadline).

Citing the need to maintain consumer flexibility at the turn of the decade, the Prime Minister's revised policy brings the UK into line with most of Europe, including France, Italy and Spain. 

‘I am unequivocal that we will meet our international agreements, including the critical promises in Paris and Glasgow, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees', he said. 'To give us more time to prepare, I'm announcing today that we're going to ease the transition to electric vehicles. You'll still be able to buy petrol and diesel cars and vans until 2035. Even after that, you'll still be able to buy and sell them secondhand.'

In response to rumours of the deadline shift, Ford UK’s Chair, Lisa Brankin, said ‘Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment, and consistency... A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three.’ Ford has committed to electrifying all its cars by 2030, investing $22bn to rebuild its Cologne factory to become an EV only manufacturer facility, signing a technical agreement with Volkswagen to share EV platforms for future models as well designing and developing its own all-electric vehicles. 

Mike Hawes, the President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said any decision to move the deadline would only add to the confusion surrounding EV ownership consumers are already facing. 

Toyota, however, welcomed the decision, saying: "Today's Government announcement is welcome as it provides the clarity industry has been asking and recognises that a;; low emission and affordable technologies can have a role to play in a pragmatic vehicle transition." Toyota has focussed its efforts in petrol-hybrid vehicles, and has only recently set out its plans for a range of battery electric vehicles. 

Despite the deadline being pushed back by five years, the Government still intends to introduce its zero-emissions mandate in 2024. This mandate will set out a minimum annual sales target of zero emissions vehicles based on a manufacturer's total sales. The target is set to increase each year, with fines for missing it potentially as high as £15,000 per vehicle. The target is currently set at 22 per cent of total sales in 2024, rising to 80 per cent by 2030. 

The UK Government recently announced £500m of subsidies to Jaguar Land Rover to build its £4bn Gigafactory in Somerset. It has also committed £211 million in advance battery research via the Faraday battery challenge. 

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