Sound the Alarm: UK Wants Ban on All Gas, Diesel, Hybrid Cars by 2035

Wilbert Tan

The UK Government is stepping up its fight against internal combustion engines (ICEs) bigly, with a new ban on the sale of new gasoline, diesel and hybrid cars currently in the works, with plans for implementation in 2035—five years earlier than the previously set date of 2040.

The announcement deals a huge blow not only to the UK automotive landscape, but the worldwide as a whole, especially since it is currently struggling with adjustments to meet Her Majesty’s Government’s original announcement in 2017 that limits the ban solely on gasoline and diesel cars.

The ICE ban for new cars and vans is nothing new, but the ones about implementing the ban five years earlier, as well as the inclusion of hybrid and plug-in vehicles, caught everyone by surprise.

Granted, the latest announcement is still at the consultation stage, but according to UK safety agency GEM Motoring Assist, the British government appears to be facing what it calls a “lose-lose public relations situation” with the proposal.

“Certain environmentalists (such as Friends of the Earth) argue that the ban needs to be implemented sooner, while the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) is concerned that the measure is too draconian, not only for its members but also for consumers, now that the ‘goalposts have been moved,” according to GEM.

Proponents of the measure are saying that the original target of 2040 is too late if the British Isles is truly bent on achieving its zero carbon emissions target by 2050. Thus, it only makes sense to push the ban earlier, and expand it to include hybrid cars as well as plug-in hybrids, which were not included under the 2017 proposals, the proponents claim.

With the ban in place, car buyers will then only be allowed to buy electric or hydrogen powered vehicles.

GEM asks, “Is a blanket ‘ban’ too autocratic?”

“Surely a more reasonable and democratic alternative is to create a suitable environment in which electric and hydrogen vehicles can flourish. Combustion engines can then be slain by market forces that involve consumer choice,” the agency says further.

We’ll have to see how the situation in the UK plays out. For sure, whatever the government decides, it will have huge implications on the worldwide automotive landscape, considering it is one of the biggest auto markets in the world.

smmt.co.uk

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