The days of gas guzzlers and other fossil-fuel driven cars on the roads of the United Kingdom are numbered.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the county would be banning the sale of all new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030, moving the previous deadline ahead by 10 years.
The UK will “invest more than £2.8 billion in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points and creating long-lasting batteries in UK gigafactories. This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030,” Johnson said.
Hybrid vehicles will get an additional five years, before they too will be banned.
As a part of that goal, the government also promised: £1.3 billion to speed up the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles; £582m in grants for people buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles; and some £500m over four years to spur the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries.
The announcement could be a boost info the share value of companies like Tesla, which is dedicated only to electric cars.
Despite the increased recognition of the damage that fossil fuels does to the global climate, electric cars are still only a fraction of new cars sold. Last year, out of 2.3 million new cars registered in Britain, only 37,850 were reported to be battery powered – representing only 1.6 percent of the total.
Meanwhile, there are currently 20,197 public charging points in the UK, at 12,724 locations, according to ZapMap — a number which is increasing rapidly. A growing proportion of those are high-powered rapid or ultra-rapid chargers.
The pledge is a part of plans for a green industrial revolution, which Johnson believes could create some 240,000 jobs in the transport, technology and energy sectors.
But as part of that revolution, energy sources will need to come from mainly renewable sources, such as wind, as oil or coal run power stations would largely negate the value of electric cars.
That aspect is being tackled as government’s green plans also include investments in hydrogen energy and carbon capture technology, as well as the goal to generate enough wind energy to power every home in the UK by 2030.
“Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future,” Johnson said.
The plan also includes a new generation of nuclear power plants — which many environmentalists do not support.
And car makers, who have been stuck in their technology of oil-driven cars for more than 100 years, also expressed concerns on converting to electric cars within a decade. Many believe that the original goal of 2040 was already too ambitious.
At the other end of the spectrum, the move got qualified support from the environmental group Greenpeace UK.
The landmark announcement was a big step forward, said Rebecca Newsom of Greenpeace UK– though the inclusion of “speculative solutions, such as nuclear and hydrogen from fossil fuels, that will not be taking us to zero emissions anytime soon, if ever,”