The direction of travel is set. The UK Government has confirmed the end of sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars and vans will be brought forward to 2030 – 10 years earlier than planned – while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will remain on sale until 2035.
The announcement forms part of an ambitious 10-point plan that aims to create a green industrial revolution. Speaking about the proposals, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My 10-point plan will create, support, and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.”
What funding is available?
With specific reference to electric vehicles, the Government has pledged £1.3 billion of additional funding to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets, and on motorways. The UK already has more than 35,000 public chargepoint connectors across 12,700 locations and counting, but the ambition is far greater.
It will also provide £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles, helping to make them cheaper to buy, plus it’s committing nearly £500 million over the next four years to the development and mass production of EV batteries. This will help to support the UK’s world-leading car manufacturing bases in the West Midlands, North Wales, and the North East, home to the pioneering Nissan LEAF.
It’s difficult to believe that the first-generation LEAF went on sale nine years ago. Back then, it was largely recognised as the first, mass-produced, fully electric vehicle and became the first EV to win the prestigious World Car of the Year award. Fast-forward to 2020 and the Nissan LEAF is in its second generation: more affordable, better performance, improved range, and now joined by more than 100 fully electric and Plug-In Hybrid models also for sale, covering every category and a range of budgets. Proof, if it were needed, that the future is electric.
What does Go Ultra Low think?
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Fast-tracking the end of sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by a decade is both a positive and ambitious step for the country’s clean energy revolution. We’re also pleased to see PHEVs will remain on sale until 2035, as they provide a critical ‘stepping stone’ technology for many drivers. The UK electric car market has experienced phenomenal growth in the past 10 years with what looks set to be a record-breaking number of registrations in 2020. While only a handful of EVs were on sale in 2011, there are now more than 100 models available.”
“Similarly in 2011, there were just 34 rapid chargepoints* across the UK yet today, the Government is committed to installing a fast or rapid chargepoint every 30-miles on Britain’s strategic network. If this is the sort of progress made in 10 years, we’re excited to see what we can achieve in the next 10.”
Since its creation in 2013, Go Ultra Low has been passionate about promoting both the environmental and economic benefits of transitioning from the internal combustion engine to hydrogen- and battery-powered electric vehicles. The next 10 years promise to be as exciting as they are epic for the future of British transport, so it’s more important than ever that we, together with our growing and passionate community of EV drivers, help bring all consumers and businesses on this journey. We’re looking forward to the challenge.
*Source: Zap Map chargepoint data 2011: https://www.zap-map.com/statistics/#points