UK Moving up Its Goal to Ban New Gas-Powered Car Sales to 2030

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【Summary】The original plan was to stop the sale of gas-powered vehicles in the country by 2040, but it’s been moved up by 10 years for vehicles with only an internal combustion engine, while the deadline for hybrids has been moved up by five years.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Nov 23, 2020 7:15 AM PT
UK Moving up Its Goal to Ban New Gas-Powered Car Sales to 2030

California isn't alone in planning to ban gas-powered vehicles to curb emissions and help slow global warming. Countries around the world have similar plans, including Britain. Boris Johnson originally announced a plan to stop the sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles in the country by 2040. In February, the UK moved the date up by five years to 2035. Now, Johnson is moving the deadline up, once again, by another five years. That means new-car gas-powered sales in Britain will be banned by 2030. Hybrids will be banned by 2035. 

Ban Has Been Moved Up

The ban on gas-powered vehicles is part of Johnson's new 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution." Johnson has come under fire to crack down on gas-powered cars in order to help the country meet its goals of eliminating emissions that are contributing to climate change by 2050. Clearly, electrified vehicles are going to play a large role in doing that for Britain.

"Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, the UK is looking to the future and seizing the opportunity to build back greener," Johnson said in an emailed statement released to the press, claims The Verge. "The recovery of our planet and of our economies can and must go hand-in-hand."

Just like with other countries around the world, the ban is only for new vehicles and not for used ones. Consumers, presumably, will still be able to purchase a used gasoline-powered vehicle if they choose to. But it's a clear reason as to why automakers are shifting toward electric vehicles. If more countries follow suit and institute a similar ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles, they're going to have to have a diverse array of electric cars on sale or face losing billions.

Other Places Have Similar Bans

Britain currently leads major countries with its new proposed flat out ban on the sale of new gas-powered cars. Norway has a goal to end sales by 2025, California recently pledged to do the same by 2035, and British Columbia's ban will start in 2040. Roughly a dozen other states in the U.S. follow California's fuel economy and emissions regulations, so while the United States may not have a similar plan in place at the federal level, automakers will have to play by the rules set forth by individual states if it wants to sell vehicles.

It's certainly interesting to see other countries come out with bans on gas-powered vehicles while there's currently a legal battle over overturning strict fuel economy regulations in the U.S. The Trump Administration recently moved forward to overturn fuel economy standards set in place by the Obama Administration, which was followed up by a lawsuit by 23 sates. More recently, a U.S. appeals court overturned the Trump Administration's rule seeking to suspend a regulation that roughly doubled penalties for automakers that failed to meet current fuel efficiency requirements.

Going forward, it will be riveting to see whether the incoming administration returns to standards set by the Obama Administration or follows California's lead by instituting a ban on gas vehicles at the federal level.

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