The UK government has announced a delay in the ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, pushing it back from 2030 to 2035. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made the announcement in a speech, criticizing his predecessors for their poorly thought-out plans to cut carbon emissions. He argued that these plans were focused on grabbing headlines rather than engaging in proper debate.
The original plan aimed to lower carbon emissions by prohibiting the sale of new combustion-engine cars that run on fossil fuels in the UK from 2030. However, Sunak stated that the transition to electric vehicles should be eased to ensure that Britons can afford to sell their old petrol cars and buy new electric ones. He acknowledged that public opinion on the matter is skeptical, given the current cost-of-living crisis and high energy bills. The Prime Minister emphasized that it should be the consumer’s choice to switch to electric vehicles, rather than being forced to do so by the government.
While Sunak’s decision was welcomed by UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, not everyone supported the delay. The Labour Party announced that they would reverse the decision and bring the ban back to 2030 if elected next year. UK automakers also expressed their dissatisfaction, as they have already made significant investments in adjusting production lines for electric cars. Lisa Brankin, the chair of Ford UK, stated that a relaxation of the 2030 deadline would undermine their business’s ambition, commitment, and consistency. On the other hand, Stellantis and BMW confirmed their commitment to transitioning production to electric cars by 2030.
The government’s decision to postpone the ban reflects a more pragmatic and realistic approach to achieving “net zero” emissions by 2050. Although the delay may disappoint some environmental advocates, Sunak emphasized the importance of considering the economic implications and ensuring that the transition to electric vehicles is feasible for the average Briton.
In conclusion, the UK is extending the time frame for the ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak justified the decision by highlighting the need to address public concerns about affordability and prioritize consumer choice. While some politicians and automakers have expressed their disagreement, the government believes that a more measured approach is necessary to achieve long-term sustainability goals.