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New Net Zero Plan: The Car Industry Reaction

New Net Zero Plan: The Car Industry Reaction

9th October 2023

The Prime Minister (PM) announced on the 20th September this year that the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales will be pushed back by 5 years to 2035. This brings the UK into line with the European Union as they also plan to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2023.

Net Zero Policies…

The PM has watered down the UK’s net zero policies, however this does not change the aim to achieve net zero by 2050. Pm said it was “not right to impose more costs on working people” quoted in the BBC. This gives the impression that it was done in an effort to cut cost for people amid the cost of living crisis.

These changes have been met with mixed opinions throughout the car industry. One of the UK’s most popular car brand Ford has criticised the change, as it undermines the move to electric. Ford UK chair has stated the company has invested £430m to upgrade its UK plants to produce electric cars and what they need from the government is ambition, commitment, and consistency and the change in policy undermines all these.

However, Stellantis automobile corporation has said they are still committed to their aim to achieve “100% zero emission new car and van sales in the UK and Europe by 2030”, regardless of any delay to the ban.”

Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover said they both “welcome” this news for various reason including affordable technology and it brings the UK in line with other nations.

The head of policy at RAC said this announcement could slow down the momentum of that the motor industry has built up in switching to an electric car, as it risks consumer delaying the switch.

Not only the car industry reacts to the new plan so does other sectors including Emma Pinchbeck, as chief executive of Energy UK who has criticised the sudden change in policy and has highlighted the potential effect on investment required for the transition to new zero.

What does this change mean?

It means the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will not come into effect intel 2035.

This means from 2035 people buying a new car will not be able to purchase petrol or diesel, only vehicles that produce zero emissions, this means predominantly battery-electric vehicles.

The ban is only in affect on new vehicles not second-hand vehicles however as the average life span of a car is 14 years, this means petrol and diesel cars could remain on the roads until 2048 at least.

This is not the first time the ban has been moved.

The original timeframe for the ban was 2040, however in 2019 Boris Johnson the prime minister at the time brought the deadline forward to 2035. Then brought it forward again in 2020, to 2030 for 3 years later the current prime minister has moved it back to 2035.

Could it be that the timeframe was never achievable and shouldn’t have been brough forward in the first place? What are your thoughts on the changes to the net zero plan?

Written by: Amy Johnson

*Please note that the above information has been gathered through secondary research. The information provided is not based on our opinion. You should seek further guidance and information before making an informed decision.


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