The UK Government have announced extreme measures to cut down on air pollution, banning the sale petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The current Conservative governments Environment Secretary Michael Gove revealed the plans yesterday, and followed up by saying they could give local councils the power to impose tough restrictions on highly polluting areas as early as 2020.
The plans however fall short of offering a full diesel scrappage scheme, something which motoring campaigners were calling for. The plans have also been criticized by the AA, which claims that such a plan could cause chaos in the National Grid, and require up to ten more power stations to provide the electrical output required for such a large switch on of electric vehicles.
Many car companies have begun an electrification process in their cars, Volvo recently announced that all new Volvos would be electrified in someway by 2025. Mini announced yesterday that they were beginning production in 2019 of a fully electric 3-door version of the Mini at their plant in Oxford, BMW also expects electrified models to be between 15% and 25% of their sales by 2025 after announcing electrification would be available on all of its models.
Which? Car magazine also warned the government that electric cars were currently more expensive and less practical than conventional cars. Around 4% of cars sold today are electric. Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders CEO Mike Hawes told Autocar: “Currently demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level as consumers have concern over affordability, range and charging points”.
It should be said that the Government has also said that restrictions would be lessened after the air pollution levels have reduced to acceptable levels “Local authorities should bear in mind such access restrictions would only be necessary for a limited period and should be lifted once legal compliance is achieved and there is no risk of legal limits being breached again”.
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