The motoring journalist and electric vehicle campaigner Quentin Willson is calling on the Government to retain the proposed 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
The former Top Gear host, who founded FairCharge, stated that pushing the deadline back to 2035 could impact the UK’s car industry.
He explained: “If the Government moves the 2030 deadline, they risk billions in investment and thousands of jobs.
“Today car makers, including Ford, have warned that they need policy certainty for future investment decisions in the UK. Moving this date for short-term electoral gain will risk both the entire energy transition and the UK’s international investment credibility.
“Sunak must ignore the siren calls of a coven of fossil fuel supporting backbenchers and listen to the global investment community instead.”
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Following the announcement on September 19th 2023 that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would be weakening some of the elements of his approach to reducing emissions.
Whilst reassuring the public that the plans still aim for the UK to reach Net Zero by 2050, the deadlines of some policies have been pushed back.
However, some motoring experts are concerned that delaying the mandate on zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) could impact the number of drivers investing in electric cars, and the number of companies producing them in the UK.
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Robert Llewellyn, founder of the Fully Charged Show, added that encouraging the switch to electric could revitalise car production in the UK.
He said: “What remains of the UK car industry, as evidenced by this week’s statement from the SMMT [Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders] demonstrated, is unified behind the need to accelerate the battery electric vehicle market in the UK.
“Any dilution of the ZEV mandate will have the opposite effect on BEV [Battery Electric Vehicle] adoption in the UK and it is little wonder that businesses like Ford, that rely on long-term stability, are frustrated.”
Originally announced by Boris Johnson in 2017, the Government initially planned to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars and vans by 2040, before bringing the date forward to 2035 and 2030 respectively.
Whilst buyers will still be able to drive cars that use fossil-fuels and buy used examples, all new vehicles will be electric or a plug-in hybrid.
Many other countries plan to impose similar restrictions, with Norway set to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2025.
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