Britain to ban sales of new petrol, diesel cars by 2040

Earlier this month, France had announced that it was set to ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered vehicles by 2040, and now, Britain has pledged to do the same, with the same timeline being stated, The Guardian reports.

The decision – announced via a paper published by the country’s department for environment, food and rural affairs (DEFRA) – will reportedly not affect hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but only involve conventional powertrains.

Concern over rising nitrogen oxide levels brought about by increasing vehicle volumes has brought about the decision to go the route. It’s a move the British government says is needed because of the impact that poor air quality is having on public health.

Heading towards the two-decade plus targeted date, the government says it is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible, with a number of new measures being implemented.

Britain to ban sales of new petrol, diesel cars by 2040

Plans include the retrofitting of buses and other public transport, the remapping of roads as well as altering roundabouts, speed humps and the reprogramming of traffic lights.

Though not detailed, a scrappage scheme is also expected to be included in these plans, and local councils are set to be heavily involved in the action. The report added that £255 million of funding will be put down to ramp up development of local plans, the sum being part of an ambitious £3 billion programme to clean up the country’s air.

The air quality package includes £1 bn in ultra-low emissions vehicles, including investing nearly £100 million in the country’s charging infrastructure. Money will also be pumped into propagating low-emission taxis as well as towards a green bus fund.

The British and French move follows on that announced earlier by a number of other countries – Norway, the leader in the use of electric cars, has said it wants to phase out sales of conventional vehicles by 2025, likewise the Netherlands. Similar measures and a 2030 target have been proposed by Germany and more ambitiously, India.