Analytical Instrumentation

Everything You Need to Know About the UK Petrol Ban

Aug 04 2017 Comments 0

The electric movement is now well underway, and Britain isn’t taking its responsibilities lightly. Following the French commitment to phase high emissions vehicles off its roads, the UK has announced plans to ban sales of all diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040. It’s a key part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, spearheaded by UK environment secretary Michael Gove.

A matter of life and death

Ministers peg poor air quality and high levels of nitrogen oxide as the single largest environmental risk to public health, estimating that every year it costs the nation up to £2.7 billion in lost productivity. The strategy also comes amid new warnings that British air pollution could be responsible for up to 40,000 premature deaths a year.

“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,” comments a government spokesman.

Channelling cash into the clean air cause

With a total phase out on the horizon, the UK is working hard to make the transition as driver friendly as possible. This includes investing almost £100 million in the UK’s charging infrastructure, as well as funding the “plug-in car” and “plug-in grant” schemes.

A further £290 million will be channelled into the national productivity investment fund, which will power the retrofitting of public buses and low-emission taxis. Councils will be issued with air quality grants, £1.2 billion will be allocated to promoting cycling and walking, while an additional £100 million will be used to help improve general air quality on the roads.

Can the National Grid handle rush hour?

Of course, a nationwide switch to electric cars does come with its complications, with the AA warning that the National Grid will be under pressure to "cope with a mass switch-on after the evening rush hour."

Campaign group ClientEarth also harbours concerns, and has given a cautious welcome to the announcement.

“The government has trumpeted some promising measures with its air quality plans, but we need to see the detail,” comments CEO James Thornton. “A clear policy to move people towards cleaner vehicles by banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans after 2040 is welcome, as is more funding for local authorities.”

The UK may be on the brink of an electric revolution but until then fossil fuels will continue to dominate roads. For an in-depth look at how producers are minimising contamination ‘OptiFuel: A Game-Changer in Rapid Fuel Analysis Using Cutting-Edge FT-IR technology’ spotlights the latest solutions from PetroSpec.

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