If you think this hybrid cars “facade” will soon fade away, think again! UK government has announced that new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be officially banned in the UK from 2040 in an effort to cage in the monster of air pollution.
UK ministers have also revealed that a fund of £255m will be kept aside that will help to tackle emissions, while adding “charging zones” for the dirtiest vehicles.
The £3bn clean air strategy does apparently lack a scrappage scheme, calling previous ones “poor value” for money.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove explained the move as a part of the plan to remove these vehicles by 2050 altogether – with cleaner electric and/or hybrid cars replacing them.
From 2020, a new pollution taxes will also be placed on diesel drivers on congested highways in major towns and cities, along with the M4 and M32 motorways.
Local government leaders have welcomed the plan, and they will be given £40m of the fund for immediate application, such as implementing new technologies, changing road layouts, and encouraging residents to use public transport.
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If these measures still don’t make a dent into the emission, using charging zones could be the next step which will be implemented for “limited periods.”
Other major points, as reported by BBC, include,
The funding pot will come from changes to tax on diesel vehicles and re-prioritizing departmental budgets – the exact details will be announced later in the year.
Councils could change road layouts, retrofit public transport, and encourage local people to leave their cars at home.
A Clean Air Fund would allow local authorities to bid for additional money to put in more air quality control measures.
A new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will allow the government to require the installation of charge points for electric vehicles at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers.
Although the reaction generally has been positive, some ministers believe this is a measure to “punish” drivers of diesel cars who bought the vehicles after being encouraged by the last Labour government with an assurance to produce lower carbon emissions.
The industrial players have also expressed grief on the move, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders releasing a statement that placing an outright ban on diesel would hurt the sector.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said that the demand for hybrid cars is growing, but too slowly to justify such a drastic step.
“The industry, instead, wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars. We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust.”
What are your thoughts on the proposed ban by UK government? Is it justified? Comment below!