UK

How the timeline for banning petrol and diesel cars has shifted over the years

There is speculation the Prime Minister is preparing to change the timeline again (John Walton/PA)
There is speculation the Prime Minister is preparing to change the timeline again (John Walton/PA) There is speculation the Prime Minister is preparing to change the timeline again (John Walton/PA)

Drivers and vehicle manufacturers have been told several different timelines for when the sale of conventionally fuelled cars will be banned in the UK.

An initial date of 2040 was announced in July 2017 by then-environment secretary Michael Gove.

He said the move was aligned with a target set out in the Conservative Party manifesto for the 2015 general election for “almost every car and van to be a zero emission vehicle by 2050”.

In February 2020 at a launch event for the Cop26 Glasgow climate summit, then-prime minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to bring the ban forward to 2035.

Days later, his transport secretary Grant Shapps said the ban could happen by 2032.

In November 2020, Mr Johnson announced the sale of new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol or diesel would be banned from 2030.

New hybrid cars and vans that can travel a “significant distance” with no carbon emissions would still be permitted up to 2035 under his policy.

As recently as this month, Rishi Sunak insisted the 2030 date for conventionally fuelled new cars and vans “remains Government policy”.

But amid speculation he is preparing to change the timeline again, the Prime Minister said the Government will set out plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions “in a better, more proportionate way”.