With the ever growing demand to be a zero-emission country, the UK Government has announced their plans to end the sale of all conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040, which has been announced by many other countries as well such as; the Netherlands who voted through a motion to end all petrol and diesel car sales by 2025 (still awaiting Dutch senate to pass the bill), India announced the end sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, France announced they would end sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 with a host of countries outlining similar plans.
The development of hybrid cars however will not be affected. This combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor which has been proven to significantly reduce emissions over conventional powered cars.
The air quality plan puts pressure on local authorities to crack down on causes of air pollution; with the government highlighting local authorities should consider a wide range of “innovative options” meaning that new technologies should be explored so that they can deliver reduced emissions in the best possible way to meet the needs of their communities and local business.
It stated: “Their plans could include a wide range of measures such as: changing road layouts at congestion and air pollution pinch points; encouraging public and private uptake of ULEVs; using innovative retrofitting technologies and new fuels; and, encouraging the use of public transport.”
However, if these measures are not sufficient, local plans could include access restrictions on vehicles, such as charging zones or measures to prevent certain vehicles using particular roads at particular times, it says.
The plan explains that local authorities should bear in mind such access restrictions would only be necessary for a “limited period” and should be lifted once legal compliance is achieved and there is no risk of legal limits being breached again.
The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) will provide a £255 million package to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles which is part of an overall £3 billion package to spend on air quality.
Van drivers are also set to be given the right to use heavier vehicles if they are electric or gas-powered. With the heavy batteries and reinforced tanks which will be used on CNG vehicles plus, other additional equipment needed for low emission commercial vehicles, the Government is considering changing the current 3500kg D1 license weight limit up to 4250kg but is yet to be confirmed.