Analytical Instrumentation

  • Could Petrol and Diesel Cars Be Banned in 2032?

Could Petrol and Diesel Cars Be Banned in 2032?

Mar 25 2020 Read 366 Times

As the world rallies together to curb CO2 emissions and combat climate change, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned that the UK could introduce a ban on the sale of all non-zero emission cars by as early as 2032. While the current deadline is 2035, Shapps says growing pressure to reduce emissions and meet climate change targets could force the British government to bring forward the date by three years.

“We want to go further than ever before. That’s why we are bringing forward our already ambitious target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to tackle climate change and reduce emissions,” says Shapps.

New plan vetoes ultra-low-emissions vehicles

Previously, the ban excluded ultra-low-emissions vehicles such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Under the new proposal, sales of vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2 would also be barred. This would mean the only new cars allowed on British roads would be electric or hydrogen vehicles. While the comments won praise from environmentalists, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has slammed the suggestion as "extremely concerning" and warn that it could cause major disruption to the industry.

"Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero-emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020," says SMMT boss Mike Hawes. "However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment."

Decision to accelerated deadline slammed by SMMT

Hawes says that while the industry is committed to supporting Britain's goals to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the government needs to address issues such as the future of the plug-in car grant and the capacity of the charging network before suddenly bringing forward the deadline.

"If the UK is to lead the global zero emissions agenda, we need a competitive marketplace and a competitive business environment to encourage manufacturers to sell and build here. A date without a plan will merely destroy value today," he adds. "So we therefore need to hear how the government plans to fulfil its ambitions in a sustainable way, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to deliver air quality and climate change goals now.”

Early ban could jeopardise EV adoption rates

In 2019, 37,850 battery-electric vehicles were introduced to British roads. While this represented a 144% increase on 2018 figures, EVs still represent just 1.6% of the total UK car market, suggesting there's still plenty of ground to cover before electric vehicles become the norm. While 2032 is a righteous goal, organisations such as SMMT warn it's too early and could have a detrimental impact on overall EV adoption rates.

While petrol and diesel powered vehicles are slowly being phased out, the petrochemical sector will remain relevant for decades to come. To find out more about the latest instruments and turnkey solutions being developed by Bruker AXS, don't miss 'Elemental Analysis at a Fingertip – From Drill Cuttings in Mobile Labs to Catalyst Elements in Refineries to Ultra-Low Sulfur in Automotive Fuels.

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