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Light-vehicle ICE ban could come as early as 2032

13 February 2020 Ian Fletcher

(Excerpt)

The planned ban on the sale of non-zero emission light vehicles in the United Kingdom could take place even earlier, reports Press Association National Newswire. Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, was quoted as telling BBC Radio 5 Live in an interview yesterday (12 February), "The Prime Minister last week has said we would like to do that by 2035 at the latest... We have said 2035 or even 2032." He went on to say, "We have domestic car producers and we want to help them to transition so we are doing a lot of work - in fact tomorrow I'm meeting with the car manufacturers on this very subject." He also noted that there were "now more public charging locations than petrol [gasoline] stations in this country" and "electric cars are coming and we want to help the country transition". Following the comments, a Department for Transport spokesperson said, "We are consulting on a range of possible dates to bring forward the end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans. The consultation proposal for this is 2035 or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible, as well as including hybrids for the first time."

Significance: The comments come in the wake of Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing early last week that there were plans to bring forward a ban on certain light vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions. Having previously earmarked ending the sale of non-electrified light vehicles by 2040, he suggested that all internal combustion engine light-vehicle sales - including hybrids - will end by 2035. This has already caused a degree of concern within the industry regarding how this might be possible and what this will mean for the development of technologies that might be used as interim measures continue to help with reducing emissions. However, the latest statement by Shapps indicates that this is still very much a moving target. The eventual start date is likely to depend on the outcome of a consultation. Although there are already measures to push these technologies in to the UK market, it remains to be seen whether the government will adds more sweeteners. While some customers may start making a shift by themselves to prevent being caught out, other potential customers may hold off replacing vehicles and take a wait and see approach, which will not only be a drag on the market place but also in average CO2 emission reduction.


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