‘Huge challenge’ to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2030

·2-min read

The Government lacks a plan for the “huge challenge” of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, MPs have warned.

A report from the influential parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) stated that the cost of purchasing a zero-emission car is “still too high” for many motorists.

The committee declared it is “not convinced” that the Government is “doing enough” to provide the necessary charging infrastructure, such as for drivers in rural areas or without off-road parking at home.

The Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy must do more to consider the consequences of prohibiting the sale of traditionally fuelled cars, according to the inquiry.

This includes the skills and capabilities required to support this major change in the UK vehicle fleet, future power needs, and the loss of fuel duties.

The committee accused the departments of lacking “a clear published plan setting out how they propose to manage these consequential impacts”.

The UK intends to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with hybrids prohibited from 2035.

Just 11% of new car registrations last year were for ultra-low emission cars.

“Getting from this level to 100% as new petrol and diesel cars are phased out is a huge challenge,” the report warned.

Meg Hillier, the committee’s chairwoman, claimed the UK “has a mountain to climb” to meet its targets.

Challenges include making the car industry “environmentally and socially compliant” and building the necessary infrastructure, but the Government having to “wean itself off carbon revenues” could be the toughest, she said.

“What we’ve got is a Government throwing up a few signs around base camp, and no let-up in demand for oversized, petrol-guzzling vehicles.

“This isn’t about more targets with no plan behind them inevitably getting missed. It’s about averting the real-world challenges that are bearing down on all of us.

“The Government needs to get the country behind it and lead the way in the global race against climate change.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said manufacturers share the Government’s ambition for an “electric revolution”, but there must be a “comprehensive and holistic plan to get us there in time”.

He added: “That plan must convince consumers to make the switch, it must provide the incentives that make electric cars affordable for all, and it must ensure recharging is as easy as refuelling.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “We’ve got a highly ambitious and world-leading approach to increasing the uptake of zero-emission cars, and the progress we’re making in this area will help us to meet our targets.

“Already, we’re investing £2.8 billion in helping industry and drivers make the switch, and will continue our work to install thousands of chargepoints and boost the development of new technologies to meet our goals.”

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