UK Publishes Strategy To Electrify By 2040, But Not Ban ICE Cars

AUG 15 2018 BY EVANNEX 7


A year ago, the UK government announced a somewhat vague plan to phase out petrol-powered vehicles by 2040. Recently, the country’s Department for Transport (DfT) released a detailed 46-point strategy to manage the transition.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: UK has plans for an electric vehicle future (Image: Charged)

The Road to Zero includes a wide-ranging series of initiatives to encourage cleaner cars, including: measures to improve enforcement of existing ICE emissions standards; extension of the existing Plug-In Car and Van Grants in some form until at least 2020; £246 million in research funding for next-generation battery technology; and a dozen different initiatives, with £400 million in funding, to expand charging infrastructure, including plans for new lampposts to include charging points.

However, the new plan walks back on the previous talk about an outright ban on ICE vehicles. By 2040, the government “expects the majority of new cars and vans sold to be 100% zero emission and all new cars and vans to have significant zero emission capability.” As most observers parse the legalese, this means that non-hybrids and conventional hybrids would be out, but PHEVs would still be permitted.

Above: Electric cars may soon be taking hold in the UK (Instagram: ecar_rent)

According to the Committee on Climate Change, a government watchdog group, “a lack of clarity over the stated aim to end the sale of conventional cars and vans” could allow sales of plain hybrids and short-range PHEVs after 2040. The DfT further muddied the waters with a statement suggesting that sales of hybrids would not be banned.

The CCC also criticized the government for failing to address the skyrocketing demand for SUVs, which is currently more than canceling out the emissions savings delivered by the growing numbers of plug-in vehicles (many countries are facing the same problem).

Above: Tesla Model S bringing through the streets of London (Image: EV World)

Despite the criticism from the CCC and various environmental groups, Chris Grayling, MP and Secretary of State for Transport, struck an upbeat tone about the plan: “We expect to see more change in the transport sector over the next 10 years than we have in the previous century. Petrol and diesel vehicles have dominated the market…but change has arrived. The transition will mean fundamental changes to the global automotive market, worth over £1.5 trillion a year, and new opportunities for the UK.”


Written by: Charles Morris; This article was originally published in Charged; Source: BBC NewsReutersThe GuardianElectrek

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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7 Comments on "UK Publishes Strategy To Electrify By 2040, But Not Ban ICE Cars"

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No sensible person would believe any government in any democratic country could possibly impose an outright ban on gasmobiles in the foreseeable future. The public resistance to that would be too strong, and if the government did impose draconian measures to bring it about before the natural obsolescence of the gasmobile, it would crash the country’s economy.

If politicians are smart — and obviously they often are not — then they will take an incremental approach, imposing gradually increasing fees and taxes on gasmobiles, and gradually restricting where they can be driven. An outright ban simply isn’t politically possible, not until almost all gasmobiles and diesel trucks are already gone from public roads, and any politician advocating that prematurely — let’s say, within the next 25 years — would be voted out of office.

But a better approach is to use incentives to gently persuade people to buy plug-in EVs. People get angry and upset when you threaten to take away something familiar. Better to use the carrot than the stick.

Strongly agree. As I read your comment, I was planning on saying something about carrots vs. sticks, but obviously you beat me to it.

Without a ban there will be some some neanderthals who stick with ICE long after switch to an EV is a no brainer, even for long distance use. But those holdouts will be VERY few in number, and they won’t make a meaningful difference to the transition to driving on electrons. The tail end of the distribution will be cleaned up not by legislation, but by demographics, i.e. the curmudgeons will die off.

I agree. In Madrid, it could be almost impossible tu use a ICE car in the center (and is a quite large area), but they don’t offer alternatives for the people. So most of citizens are oppossite to this politics, to the ecology, and a change because this means problems for them and their live. Now if I want to go on hollidays few days to visit my family in Madrid, they have to ask for permission for me (the same if you go to a hotel), I can drive only one hour a day in the area they live (green zone). In this short time, I must to park my car in a very expensive parking or if we are lucky, in a private parking. If one day I want to use my car to visit something near Madrid, they must to ask for a new permission to take out my car from the parking to avoid the fine and again I have one hour to exit green zone…. it’s ridiculous. If I want to park the car in other zone, is very difficult, because the area surrounding the “forbidden zone” has a lot of pressure for other drivers,… Read more »

Absolutely spot-on.

Clearly, you’re not a politician because you’re logical.

If the goal is to transition people to zero emission vehicles then a ban is one way of doing this (not saying it’s a good way but it is a way). However, there are other ways such as incentives and taxes. If the cost to consumers to drive an electric vehicle is vastly cheaper than a fossil burning vehicle then this will be far more effective with very little backlash.

The truth of the matter is that fossil burning vehicles are subsidised in the respect that their true cost does not factor in the environmental damage and health issues that are caused by it. Incorporating these costs into the mix will allow natural migration away from fossil fuels. No ban needed.

It would have been perfectly reasonable to ban sales of new vehicles that do not plugin (also with a minimum battery size, say 10kwh usable) by 2040. Would send a good signal to the manufacturers, however the market will largely take care of all this anyway.

The target was going to be that all PHEVs must be 50 zero emissions range. Did that requirement survive?