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New petrol and diesel car sale ban could be just 12 years away

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
12/02/2020
The ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales could be brought forward again to 2032, the transport secretary has suggested.

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the ban on new petrol and diesel car and van sales would be brought forward five years from 2040 to 2035. The ban would also include hybrid vehicles.

But the goalposts have moved again as transport secretary Grant Shapps suggested the ban could come in earlier, by 2032 – just 12 years away.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, he said: “Michael Gove announced the original 2040 deadline. The prime minister last week said 2035, or even 2032 – that’s the consultation.

“We have domestic car producers and we want to help them to transition so we are doing a lot of work. In fact tomorrow I’m meeting with the car manufacturers on this very subject.”

Shapps added that around £1.5bn has been dedicated to invest in the UK’s charging infrastructure and said “more is to come”.

Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said while the government appears to be constantly moving the goalposts forward for ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles, drivers should not be worried about opting for a plug-in hybrid now.

He said: “They are potentially the perfect stepping-stone for those who want to go electric but who have concerns about range as they aren’t as expensive as a battery electric vehicle. At the moment they give drivers the best of both worlds.

“In deciding what vehicle to purchase next drivers should still consider how it will be used most frequently. If that is predominantly motorway driving, then a new cleaner-than-ever diesel is probably the right choice, but if it involves regularly driving into a town or city that will soon be implementing a Clean Air Zone then an electric, plug in hybrid or a petrol are the currently best options.

“However, it should be pointed out that while petrol engines aren’t as harmful to people’s health as most diesels, they generally emit more carbon dioxide and are therefore not as good for the planet.”

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