Government U-turns on 2030 ICE ban

by Nik Berg
20 September 2023 1 min read
Government U-turns on 2030 ICE ban

The Government is abandoning its ambitious plans to abolish all new petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2030.

Instead Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to allow new ICE vehicles to continue to be sold until 2035, despite his predecessor Boris Johnson’s world-leading promise to end combustion car sales five years earlier.

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Home Secretary Suella Braverman told Sky News: “We’re not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people. And we’re only going to achieve that net zero target whereby people and the British people can go about their daily lives using their cars, using the facilities that are available.”

The move (which could yet be reversed) is facing a wide-range of opposition, not just from environmental groups, but from the motor industry itself.

“The view of the industry is we’re on track for ending fossil fuel vehicles. It’s not for turning back & the UK should be leading it both as a market & as a manufacturer,” commented Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Lisa Brankin, Chair of Ford UK added: “This is the biggest industry transformation in over a century and the UK 2030 target is a vital catalyst to accelerate Ford into a cleaner future. Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three.”

Even Sunak’s fellow Conservative Members of Parliament are against the U-turn, with one claiming it is “anti-business” considering how much the UK car industry has invested in electric vehicles. It’s quite possible that Sunak could face a vote of no confidence from MPs triggering yet another turnaround. Watch this space.

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    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but there is not much left of British car manufacturing so what’s all the fuss about? The only reason I can think of is the potential government incentives paid for by tax payers, that the manufacturers may or may not benefit from? Clearly, we don’t yet and are very unlikely to have sufficient green energy production and the necessary charging facilities to support EV’s by 2035, let alone 2030. Then there is also the question of the true carbon footprint of building EV’s versus their ICE counterparts. Not to mention alternative fuels such as hydrogen and synthetic. And finally, what ever we do on our little island nation is not going to impact on the global environment at all. All the while you have Africa, China, India, the Middle East and the US polluting our planet and doing very little to change anything, what ever we do will make no difference whatsoever, apart from costing tax payers a fortune in the process. The point being, this is all simply politicians playing for votes.

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