The UK government has brought forward a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles by five years to 2035.
The ban on all polluting vehicles, which will also include hybrids, was first announced in 2017 and slated for 2040. The government said the ban would come into place earlier if feasible.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson made the announcement at a launch event for the UN COP26 summit, which is set to take place in November of this year in Glasgow. The summit will aim to define concrete actions that goverments can take to reduce emissions.
Johnson said: “Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change. As we set out our plans to hit our ambitious 2050 net zero target across this year, so we shall urge others to join us in pledging net zero emissions.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a Global Britain is prouder to serve. 2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming– it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, greener future for all.”
Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy at FTA, said:
“In the view of FTA, the 2035 target is very ambitious for the van market; unless the government takes urgent action to solve the challenges around power supply and the availability of electric vehicles, it will not be an achievable feat.”
Snelling said urgent action would be needed to bring in the right infrastructure.
“According to FTA, the key issue is power supply; the depots and homes where vans are currently stationed do not have sufficient power supply to charge the vehicles.
“Logistics companies do not control or own this power supply infrastructure; FTA is calling on the government to share its strategy on how it plans to power the UK’s fleet of millions of vans. Until the issue of power supply is resolved, it is very unlikely – in the view of FTA – that 100% of new vans bought after 2035 will be electrically powered.”