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The prime minister is set to announce as soon as next week a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 - five years earlier than planned.
The measure comes as a bid to bolster the electric car market in the UK and follows Boris Johnson already moving the deadline to ban new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2040 to 2035 in February this year.
According to the Financial Times, Johnson is expected to outline the new measure alongside a raft of new environmental policies next week.
The government is set to provide around £500m ($660m) funding for charging infrastructure from next year, the newspaper said, citing industry and government figures familiar with the matter.
The move is not expected to apply to some hybrid cars which use a mixture of electric and fossil fuel propulsion, which could still be sold until 2035.
The UK is aiming to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050.
It comes as environmental activists signed a letter on Friday urging governments and companies to start acting to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
It said: “The climate crisis is here now. No matter how quickly we reach zero emissions, the terrible impacts of the climate crisis will not just go away … As such, no matter how quickly it is done, solely cutting emissions is not enough.”
In September, battery-electric vehicles production jumped 37% from the same month in 2019, and over three-quarters of them were exported.
However, total car production fell by 5% in the month compared with the time a year before, to levels not seen since 1995, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A report by environmental giant Greenpeace revealed that a ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2030 could create more than 30,000 jobs, providing a £4.2bn boost to the UK economy.
It said that these jobs would be created “across a range of sectors directly linked to the rapid transition to electric vehicles”, including the energy sector, battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure and the service industries, such as retail, entertainment and leisure.
Meanwhile, Ian Plummer, director of AutoTrader said: “In order to meet the government’s new ban of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the sale of EVs must overtake the sale of traditional ICE cars by 2024.
“But on the current sales trajectory this won’t happen until 2029.
“It’s clear that electric vehicles need to be the preferred option to the masses and not just to those who are environmentalists, early adopters or the wealthy that can afford their high price tags, but that isn’t the case yet.”
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