The ban on the manufacture of new petrol and diesel cars that was originally planned for 2040 has been brought forward to 2030, to help reduce the UK’s contribution to climate change. Hybrid vehicles will be given an extension until 2035, as long as they meet certain criteria.
All of these are positive steps towards a carbon-neutral future, with the UK pledging to reach zero emissions by 2050. But with such a limited time to go until the ban, is the UK ready for such a drastic change?
First things first, petrol and diesel cars can still be driven after 2035. The new rules don’t mean that every car on the road has to be zero emissions by 2035 – it applies to newly built cars, not those already in existence.
As hybrid cars are a combination of a petrol or diesel engine with an electric engine, and they are less polluting than cars that run solely on fossil fuels. Because of this, they have been granted an extended grace until 2035 – but the car’s manufacturer must be able to prove that they can drive a ‘significant distance’ with zero emissions.
As mentioned above, petrol and diesel cars are not being banned entirely. According to the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the average lifespan of a new car is 14 years so if you have just bought a new Ford car, there’s no need to panic – you can continue to drive your car for as long as it is roadworthy.
However, for those who are interested in an electric car ahead of 2030, car manufacturers and some local councils will be offering scrappage schemes for certain older vehicles.
As petrol and diesel cars aren’t being banned outright, you should still be able to buy them second-hand.
One concern that many motorists have is that the UK won’t have enough charging points to cope with the influx of electric vehicles that will be hitting the UK’s roads. But fortunately, £1.3 billion of the £4 billion that has been allocated to the 2030 switchover is being invested into EV charging points, and the European Parliament has pledged for its alternative fuels infrastructure to provide more charging stations and hydrogen refuelling stations.
Manufacturers are also constantly improving the efficiency and range of electric cars, meaning they won’t have to be charged as frequently. Plus, if you want to install a charging point in your home, The EV Chargepoint Grant pays up to 75% of the bill, which makes it cheaper to own an EV.
The initial purchase of an electric car is, on average, higher than a petrol or diesel equivalent. But the overall running and maintenance costs are currently lower, meaning they are more cost-efficient to run. The new rules will also lead to new innovations and, as electric vehicles become the norm, prices will continue to drop.
But that’s not to say the current crop of electric vehicles doesn’t hold its own. Just take the Mustang Mach-E that we took on a mega road trip to test the capacity of the battery as an example – which you can read about for yourself here.
Yes, vans will also be affected by the upcoming petrol and diesel ban. Fortunately, there are some excellent electric vans on the market, with both the Ford E-Transit and the newly announced E-Transit Custom being excellent electric versions of their ‘traditional’ counterparts.
We may be a few years off the ban yet, but it can never hurt to be informed of what’s what. If you have any further questions that we haven’t answered above, or for any other queries, please get in touch with your local dealership.