The UK government has been trying to move up its deadline on stopping all gasoline, diesel and hybrid vehicle sales from 2040 to 2035 or earlier, “if a faster transition appears feasible.”
However, SMMT CEO Mike Hawes acknowledged that the car industry is concerned about whether or not they can actually meet this earlier target, despite a number of climate organizations pushing for it to happen, reports Autocar.
“The government has made clear it wants to bring forward its 2040 date. I think the majority of the industry could just about make 2035. I think earlier than that you would struggle to get support for,” argued Hawes, while adding that the diversity of the UK industry “will mean some companies will struggle. It’s about how quickly the market will transition, and that’s dependent on how attractive the product proposition is, how much it costs and in particular what the infrastructure is.”
Hawes also cited a climate change report from last year, which called for a ban on the sale of all new gasoline and diesel cars, happening as early as 2030. He said that it would be the only way to meet the government’s net-zero ambition.
“But the detail says if you are going to move it forward to 2035 or potentially earlier, you have to recognize that there are going to be significant social, industrial, commercial consequences. How you manage that is going to be critical.”
“For all the investment you make in these technologies, they’ve still got to be affordable and convenient for the consumer. And that means oversupplying the market in terms of charging infrastructure.”
If the UK does manage to move up the ban, it would then separate itself from other countries such as France (aiming for 2040), especially if said ban is going to include plug-in hybrids as well.