The UK Government is expected to maintain its ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, signaling its commitment to establishing a zero carbon economy. Despite calls from some right-wing Conservatives to delay the green pledge, car manufacturers support the commitment, as it provides stability for their plans to design and produce electric vehicles.
The transition to electric vehicles is crucial for achieving climate goals and decarbonizing road transport, which currently accounts for 20% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Mark Harper, a Cabinet minister, emphasized the importance of cleaning up cars and vans as both a challenge and an opportunity to reach net zero emissions by 2050. He also stressed that the UK cannot afford to miss out on automotive jobs, investment, and technology.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has shown support for motorists and emphasized the need for a jobs boom and economic growth to achieve the net zero target. Despite pressure from backbenchers, Sunak has maintained the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars. Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ conference, Harper echoed the Prime Minister’s stance, emphasizing the government’s commitment to supporting motorists while encouraging the automotive sector to produce greener cars.
The expansion of the ultra low emission zone (Ulez) in London has been regarded as a deciding factor in a recent Tory by-election victory. However, Sunak has made it clear that the government’s environmental goals should not come at the expense of punishing drivers or burdening bill payers. The focus is on enabling people to travel in a way that aligns with environmental goals while supporting the growth of the automotive industry.