There has been a lot coverage in the news about Boris’s Big Green initiative, but what is it and what does it actually mean?
In its most basic form, it is a simple statement of intention – the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2030, with hybrids being allowed until 2035. Clearly though the devil here will very much be in the detail, and the impact will be far reaching. Not least as a consequence of this new deadline being 10 years earlier than the original date set out for the changes.
So, what exactly is the detail. From a car and van perspective, all petrol and diesel vehicles will disappear from showrooms in 2030. Hybrids will still be available for a further five years, but to qualify in this category, they must be able to drive “a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe”. There is no detail on what this distance is yet, so watch this space as no doubt this will be something that will be clarified in the coming months.
To support this seismic shift in the UK’s motoring behaviour, significant additional investment has also been announced to enable the targets to be met. Often perceived as one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption is the lack of charging infrastructure. To resolve this the Prime Minister has ear marked £1.3 billion to fast track the rollout of charge points across the country. This will be not only be focussed on domestic homes, but will also aim to put in place a national network of fast chargers that sit alongside both the traditional fuel stations as well as developing innovative solutions for on street charging.
There are two further significant financial support packages that have been announced as well. Firstly, £582m in grants for those customers who buy a full EV and secondly almost £500m to develop the UK’s battery production capability. With many full EVs costing more than their petrol or diesel counterpart, the provision of grants is vital in reassuring consumers that they are affordable, while investment in battery production is crucial in ensuring the long term viability of UK motor manufacturing.
Although new petrol and diesel vehicle sales will be banned, you will still be able to purchase a used petrol or diesel vehicle after 2030, so you will still see combustion engine vehicles on the roads for a while after the date has passed.
There is no doubt it is a big change for everyone involved, drivers, motor manufacturers, energy providers, local councils and even the national grid. Compressing the timeline for this by 10 years presents some significant challenges for all concerned and we will be examining exactly what those are in other articles across our website, so keep your eyes peeled for more information.