What does the 2040 ban re­ally mean?

Daily Express - - TOTAL EV -

The govern­ment will ban petrol and diesel ve­hi­cles from 2040 as part of its air qual­ity plan. The bold an­nounce­ment brought elec­tric and hy­brid ve­hi­cles into the lime­light. Once seen as a new fan­gled fad, these cars will be­come the norm for the masses. Here’s what the an­nounce­ment means to you.


De­spite re­ports sug­gest­ing dras­tic changes to the law, the like­li­hood is the only ve­hi­cles to be banned will be those that don’t have an elec­tric mo­tor of some kind – so hy­brids can still be sold. How­ever, de­spite im­pres­sive growth, al­ter­na­tively fu­elled ve­hi­cles (AFVs) cur­rently hold a tiny mar­ket share.

Mike Hawes, chief ex­ec­u­tive of mo­tor in­dus­try body the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders, said there needs to be “in­cen­tives to pur­chase”, adding: “Cur­rently, de­mand for AFVs is grow­ing but is still at a low level.”


The govern­ment hasn’t ex­plained how it will im­ple­ment the ban, say­ing it will con­tinue to con­sult. Gerry Keaney, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Bri­tish Ve­hi­cle Rental and Leas­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, has called for a clear and con­sid­ered ram­pup, say­ing: “It will have al­most no im­pact on NOx emis­sions here and now. It is what they do in the short term to kick-start the tran­si­tion and main­tain its mo­men­tum that re­ally mat­ters.”

It is also un­likely a na­tion­wide diesel scrap­page scheme will be in­tro­duced to help peo­ple make the tran­si­tions – how­ever many car man­u­fac­tur­ers have now im­ple­mented their own in an at­tempt to kick-start change.


Ac­cord­ing to Zap Map, which helps EV own­ers find the near­est charg­ing point, at the end of Au­gust there were nearly 5,000 charg­ing lo­ca­tions, with more than 13,000 con­nec­tors be­tween them – that would have to rise dras­ti­cally to ac­com­mo­date the govern­ment’s plan.

There are fears that the grid could be over­loaded by a high num­ber of own­ers charg­ing their cars at peak times.

UK Power Net­works re­cently shared plans to trans­form its net­work to be “smarter” in or­der to cope with the in­creased de­mands of elec­tric cars.

This in­cludes giv­ing con­sumers the op­tion to de­lay charg­ing dur­ing peak hours to save money, and in­form­ing of the best times to charge po­ten­tially hap­pen­ing via an app.

Na­tional Grid chief ex­ec­u­tive John Pet­ti­grew said: “We need to find a way for mil­lions of cars to be recharged quickly and sim­ply as soon as pos­si­ble.” Other key is­sues he wants ad­dressed in­clude the “stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of charg­ing points” and en­cour­ag­ing “tech­nol­ogy, au­to­mo­tive and en­ergy in­dus­tries to work to­gether as closely as pos­si­ble”.


Many think these steps don’t. Sue Hay­man, Labour’s shadow sec­re­tary of state for en­vi­ron­ment, food and ru­ral af­fairs, said: “We have had seven years of il­le­gal air pol­lu­tion un­der the Con­ser­va­tives who have only acted af­ter be­ing dragged through the courts.

“De­spite the scale of the problem, we’re pre­sented with more con­sul­ta­tions, de­lays and no de­tail of how the govern­ment’s tar­get will be achieved.”

Mean­while, Ian Walker, pro­fes­sor of statis­tics and traf­fic psy­chol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Bath, said: “My first im­pres­sion is this looks un­am­bi­tious. If we know some­thing has bad ef­fects for pub­lic health, then to post­pone a so­lu­tion for decades is, im­plic­itly, to ac­cept that there will be a lot more of those bad ef­fects for a pro­longed pe­riod.”


The govern­ment is ban­ning all “con­ven­tional petrol and diesel cars by 2040”. It’s likely that petrol-elec­tric and diesel-elec­tric hy­brid mod­els can con­tinue to be sold. There has been no in­di­ca­tion of how the ban will be im­ple­mented. A govern­ment-backed diesel scrap­page scheme is un­likely but man­u­fac­tur­ers have im­ple­mented their own in­cen­tives. Clean Air Zones in high-pol­lut­ing areas could en­cour­age mo­torists to buy elec­tri­fied mod­els. Euro 6-com­pli­ant en­gines are thought clean enough to be ex­empt from any ban.

“Elec­tric cars will soon be­come the norm”

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