United Kingdom petrol and diesel ban should be ‘brought forward’ to 2032

21 October, 2018, 16:10 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Owen Richards via Getty Images

The call significantly brings forward the target outlined earlier this year by the prime minister who insisted that all new cars and vans should be "effectively zero emission" by 2040.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, however, says the ban should be brought forward to 2032 in a bid to put the United Kingdom at the forefront of "nations leading the EV transition".

It also called for the Government to subsidise rapid charge points in remote and rural areas.

"(We) believe that an accelerated timetable for the rollout of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is both desirable and feasible", said chief executive Lawrence Slade.

The group said that although the United Kingdom was a world leader on electric cars, ranked fourth globally in sales past year, that status was at risk due to the government being too vague on its targets.

"The UK Government's targets on zero-emissions vehicles are unambitious and vague, giving little clarity or incentive to industry or the consumer to invest in electric cars".

A clear United Kingdom target is needed for new cars and vans to be "truly zero-emission" - and it should be brought forward to 2032 to make the United Kingdom a world leader, the MPs said.

"We also outlined measures to bring forward a major uplift in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, paving the way for the widespread adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles", the spokesman added.

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"As part of this, we want between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of new vehicle sales to be ultra low emission by 2030, and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040".

The Government should ensure buyers of electric vehicles benefit from preferential Vehicle Excise Duty rates and that the introduction of preferential rates on company auto tax for EVs is brought forward without delay.

Reeves continued: "The Department for Transport's slashing of the Plug-in Grant scheme drives the incentives of buying an electric vehicle into reverse".

With grants and tax incentives on electric cars mostly only available to wealthier drivers, more creative support should be explored so all motorists can benefit from EVs, such as vehicle clubs and the second-hand market. This is only the latest sign of the Government's inconsistent approach to developing the market for electric vehicles. The Committee on Climate Change has made clear in their judgements on the Clean Growth Strategy and the "Road to Zero" strategy that these plans do not go far enough to tackle transport emissions, putting the UK's long-term carbon reduction targets at risk.

And the Government should take more steps to encourage manufacturers to locate new EV facilities in the United Kingdom and re-purpose old combustion engine production lines for making electric vehicles instead of closing them down. Despite the inevitable rise in purchases that is set to occur over the coming years, electric cars now only make up 0.6% of all cars sold in the United Kingdom, and plug-in hybrids just 1.6% - meaning they make up a very small proportion of the 31.5 million registered cars on our roads.

It's also criticised the UK's charging infrastructure, saying it encouraged "range anxiety" from EV drivers concerned about reaching their next charging station. We want to ensure the public has access to electric vehicle charge points as quickly as possible and that the cost of connecting those charge points is kept as low as possible.

"Nor is the technology affordable yet, which would see a ban hurt many low income consumers who can not afford to pay the premiums for low emission electric vehicles".

"We think the government should look again at this decision, given pure-electric cars are too expensive for most people when compared to petrol or diesel equivalents".

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