Government faces challenges should sale of petrol and diesel cars be banned by 2030 warns RAC

Image credit: @MMorgardo

There are several key challenges government must face should a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars be brought forward to 2030 warns motoring experts.

It is widely reported that the Government are planning to announce a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. This would then be followed by a ban on plug-in hybrids in 2035, leaving only Battery Electric Vehicles (EVs) permitted.

According to motoring experts the ambitious plans will pose several challenges, which includes a rapid growth of the UK’s EV charging network and plugging the financial gap left by lost petrol and diesel fuel duty.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC Head of Roads Policy, said: “While extremely ambitious, this announcement doesn’t come as a huge surprise as there’s an urgent need to reduce the emissions generated from vehicle use.

"The car industry clearly now faces a monumental challenge to change its production lines, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure will need to be expanded at an incredible pace to cope with the surge in electric vehicles (‘EVs’) coming on to our roads. We believe many more rapid charging devices are needed in order to give drivers the confidence that they can make longer journeys in a convenient and time efficient manner. While many people, especially those with off-street parking, will charge their vehicles overnight at home, this won’t be possible for everyone so access to a reliable national charging network is vital to make the process of recharging simple and convenient.

“It also remains the case that the upfront cost of electric vehicles is currently far too high for most people to afford when comparing them to an equivalent-sized conventional vehicle, so prices will have to come down dramatically in order to make them a realistic option for more people and spark take-up quickly. Unfortunately, at the moment EVs are something of a rarity on the used car market which is something that needs to change as around eight million people a year buy second-hand cars, many more than buy brand-new vehicles. For now, the Government should focus on how it can better incentivise consumers to go electric.

“The Government also now needs to work out how it’s going to plug the inevitable hole in fuel duty revenue that the switch to EVs will create. Currently, it collects around £28billion a year from fuel duty so the Treasury will need to quickly devise a new system that is fair for all drivers.”

Paul Biggs, Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) Environment Spokesperson, said: "The ABD believes that the government should allow free market forces to decide when and how internal combustion engine vehicles should be replaced rather than dictating a single preferred option. We are also concerned that existing petrol/diesel vehicles will face a regime of increasing taxation in order to remove them from the roads sooner rather than later.

“This risks devaluing vehicles years ahead of 2030 or 2035. Battery EVs are not a panacea for emission reductions or a total like-for-like replacement. It's not clear how the likes of the caravan and van-based motorhome industry will survive with heavier, short range electric vehicles."

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