Government petrol and diesel ban U-turn risks more car market chaos
Prime Minister has announced UK’s ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars has been pushed back until 2035
It’s been announced that the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be rolled back until 2035, in a move that’s caused ructions across the political stage and throughout the automotive industry.
In a speech from No. 10 Downing Street, Rishi Sunak said: “I am confident we can adopt a more pragmatic and realistic approach to net zero which eases the burden on British people,”
He insisted that he expects the “vast majority of cars” will be electric by 2030, going on to say: “So, to give us more time to prepare, I'm announcing today that we're going to ease the transition to electric vehicles”.
In support of the government’s new plans, the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman told the BBC’s Today Programme, “We’re not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people,” brandishing the old 2030 target as “unrealistic”.
Introduced back in 2020 as part of then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan for what he dubbed a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, the 2030 petrol and diesel ban was not only introduced as a way to meet the government’s 2050 net-zero emissions pledge, but also to spark rapid investment in the electric car sector.
As you’d expect, the delay has resulted in criticism from Labour, with the Opposition stating that it’d reverse the five-year extension if it got into government. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Darren Jones, told LBC that “[they] supported the 2030 target when the Conservatives introduced it into Parliament.”
Interestingly, there has been disapproval from within the Conservative Party itself, too. Boris Johnson has resurfaced saying "[we] cannot afford to falter now, or in any way lose our ambition for this country." Former cabinet minister, the Rt Hon. Simon Clarke MP described the latest move as a “political misstep”, while Lord Zac Goldsmith, former Minister of State for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment, has even called for an immediate general election.
The automotive industry has responded in a similarly apprehensive fashion, with Ford pressing the UK authorities for what it calls “ambition, commitment and consistency,” adding “A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three”.
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