2035 ban on petrol/diesel vehicles will leave UK in “slow lane” of electric car revolution – campaigner

190920 climate strike York Caroline Davis7

Climate rally in York, 20 September 2019. Photo: Caroline Davis

The Prime Minister is bringing forward a ban on UK sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035.

Boris Johnson will make the announcement tomorrow (Tuesday 4 February 2020) at the launch of the COP26 UN climate talks taking place in Glasgow in November. The ban will also be extended to hybrid vehicles.

In a speech on Britain’s contribution to tackling climate change, Mr Johnson is expected to say the government will consult on bringing forward the planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035 – or earlier if feasible.

The move is part of the UK’s target of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

The government’s adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, said in May last year that the original phase out date of 2040 was too late.  It recommended 2030 as the end date for sales of these petrol or diesel vans and cars.

The AA described the new date as “very challenging”.

Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:

“The government is right to accelerate the phase-out of petrol and diesel cars to curb air pollution and address the climate emergency, but the ban should start in 2030 – not 2035.

“A new 2035 target will still leave the UK in the slow-lane of the electric car revolution and meantime allow more greenhouse gases to spew into the atmosphere.

“If the UK government wants to show real leadership ahead of this year’s climate summit it must also urgently reverse its plans for more climate-wrecking roads and runways – and pull the plug on its support for new gas, coal and oil developments.”

Steve Sapsford, Chair of the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s Powertrain Systems and Fuels Group said:

“there is not a “one-size-fits all” solution. We are running the risk of assuming that all a vehicle’s GHG emissions are emitted at point of use.

“Whilst that might be where legislation has its current focus, we need to take a more holistic approach including the GHGs associated with vehicle production, use and disposal/recycling.

“Such life-cycle analysis is a technique for quantifying the environmental and human health impacts of a product over its life span and can often be referred to as “cradle-to-grave analysis”.

At tomorrow’s launch, Mr Johnson is also expected to say:

“Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change.

“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.”

Updated with response from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers





16 replies »

  1. Renewable energy systems compliment the inevitable arrival of electric vehicles. The UK has excellent wind speeds and predictability. During the night surplus wind power will be put to good use charging up and storing energy in EV’s.

    To maximise this system the vehicle to grid systems are already on their way.


    Cobalt issues are being addressed by Tesla with the amounts being used reducing rapidly. Car costs will of course be an issue as with any new technology but these will fall as everyone gets on board.

    Time for AJ Lucas investors to make their move?



    • “Cobalt issues are being addressed”!!??

      Yep-ocean mining starting!

      Someone seems more interested in ramping up their wind turbine interests than looking at the reality. Not to worry, the reality will emerge.

    • “It has been estimated the UK needs to have 25 million charging points for electric vehicles.

      There are now nearly 11,000 places in the UK where you can charge electric vehicles.”

      Better get to work JP…..

      It would also be useful if the EVs were made to use a common charging connector. Currently they are incompatible on different models.

      • Paul I can agree with this a my second car is a hybrid and I’m having an absolutely horrible time getting the right charger for the right car… a lot of Tesla chargers are not authorised for Toyota, Audi etc manufacturers… Mmmmmm good old Musk!

  2. Maybe a staggered introduction would be workable, first stop diesel vehicle production, then petroleum, then Hybrid and finally any fossil fuel vehicles remaining?

    Less painful for workers and production plants. Also would make phasing in of alternative fuelled vehicles safer and easier to achieve by recycling otherwise redundant factories?

    Just suggestions for discussion, beyond my pay scale!

  3. Yes, I have already booked my summer holiday for the year 2032 in an Airbnb hut, its quite unique it comes with eco-friendly rendered façade, plastered with a mixture of water, mud, cow dung (methane removed), and even human urine. Finishing touches are done with a mix of cow dung and water that make sure the walls and structure are sound for every eventuality. The travel company we have booked is chartering us a zero-emissions yacht, its a thing of beauty, you have to see it to believe it! ZERO-EMMISSIONS!
    The grandkids have endless activities instore from the on-hand holiday reps, one such activity is instructing and teaching the younger generation on how to build good and stable houses using a mixture of water, mud, cow dung (methane removed), and even human urine. Its all the rage! The half board in which we booked comes with a continental breakfast of meat free, I mentioned “meat free” meatballs in a sandwich bap, along with tofu and soya bean salad! All washed down with ground filtered water and herbicide free champagne!
    Welcome to the future of the post apocalyptic climate change phenomenon! Just the anecdote to reduce the world to a non production, pittance of a civilisation. Oh well the Zero-Emissions Musk is reducing from the atmosphere from his EV Teslas, to finance his endeavours will be off-set by the SpaceX programme to achieve his ambitious goal of a city on Mars by 2050. that’s going to take a lot of Fossil Fuels!!

  4. Just where is all the electricity for electric cars & vans going to come from in a renewables only scenario? Please explain.

  5. Just where is all the electricity going to come from, in a renewables only scenario, to supply all the electric cars & vans. Can someone please explain?

    • I understand the greens are proposing we generate electricity at night in times of high pressure using Radiotrophic fungus as found at Chernobyl & Fukushima. Material balance and all that. Radiation in, electricity out. If you take some of the hallucinating drugs recommended by XR it all starts to make sense…..

  6. Need to find some work for those electricians who made a load of dosh from installing solar panels! That part of their income seems to have dried up recently.

  7. Now that we are making our own laws and rules free of the EU:

    Please, let the people vote, on the wisdom of banning IC cars in anything other than the pace determined by market forces, that is for supply and demand to determine the pace of change.

    • The whole process needs to be better thought through. We all buy electric cars after 2035 – most people charge them at home at night on trickle charge (high ampage fast charge dramatically reduces battery life). No PV / solar, high pressure so no wind. We are told all these EVs can be used as back up to supply the grid in times of electricity supply shortage. All EVs are drained of power to back up the grid to meet demand. No one can get to work in the morning as all the EVs are flat…….

  8. Paul, Indeed. It is interesting that not a single pro renewables person on this website has attempted to answer my evidence based questions. I am not wholly against renewables, we should clearly harvest energy when the weather or sunshine lets us; but I am against those who claim renewables are entirely the answer by 2050. It seems non of them want to answer my questions. As you say “The whole process needs to be better thought through.”

  9. Seeing Boris on a construction site today has set my thoughts in train. Firstly that inept Chancellor, who coined the slogan “Northern Power House” and cancelled the UK’s CCS demo – in order to rescue one of his ill thought out budgets. He was always going for photoshoots in a high viz jacket & hard hat. Boris had a high viz jacket on today. My scientific mind is jarred by the logo HS2 emblazoned on that jacket. I immediately want to strike my pen through it & put H2S instead. Perhaps being the Chemins de Fer – TGV, FeS2 would be more appropriate. That gives a choice between a highly toxic gas with a smell of rotting eggs, or fools gold. Another choice I would chose is investing £100Bn in decarbonising our fossil fuel needs with CCS & perhaps also steel & cement production – for building new railways & renewable energy infrastructure, & lead the world in deploying CCS? Just a thought for those who do not have a one track mind.

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