By Paul Homewood
The government has apparently brought forward the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035. Equally significantly, the ban is extended to hybrids too, in line with the recommendations of the Environmental Select Committee last year:
The car industry has accused the Government of “moving the goalposts” on Britain’s embattled automotive sector by bringing forward a ban on the sale of new hybrid, petrol and diesel vehicles.
From 2035, motorists will not be able to buy new cars with conventional power trains as part of an emissions crackdown announced by Boris Johnson. This includes those that combine internal combustion engines and batteries.
The deadline is five years earlier than the original 2040 ban, revealed in 2017, when car makers said they had not been fully consulted about the move.
Automotive companies hit out at the new deadline, with one industry source describing the announcement as a “bombshell”.
“People are furious,” said one. “We knew there was some sort of consultation coming but this was a surprise.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) called the move “extremely concerning”, adding that “the Government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue”.
Car makers are “fully invested” in zero emissions cars, the trade body said, but questioned whether government policy would help deliver this, calling the announcement “a date without a plan”.
Understandably the car industry is furious, and the move will hammer another nail in its coffin, handing the advantage to cheaper Asian manufacturers.
As for hybrids, it is hard to see why any car manufacturer will want to invest hundreds of millions in developing hybrid technology and new models, when they will soon be banned.
In other news, I hear that the government is also withdrawing the £3500 subsidy for purchases of new EVs. If sales begin to ramp up as planned, such a subsidy would quickly have become unaffordable.
Finally, Michael Gove gives a good impression of a bumbling Jim Hacker, when he cannot tell Julia Hartley-Brewer how much all of the car chargers needed for his plan will cost: