The Government has ‘many hurdles to cross’ before it can implement a ban on the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars, according to the RAC.
In July 2017, the Government pledged to end the sale of conventional new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.
However, today announced plans to bring forward the ban to 2035 – while also extending the legislation to cover hybrid vehicles.
The move comes after climate experts said 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.
It has been welcomed by road safety stakeholders, including the RAC and Brake – with the latter describing it as a ‘step in the right direction’ to creating safe and healthy streets.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “People should be free to move in a safe and healthy way on every journey and this includes ensuring the air they breathe isn’t polluted.
“Banning petrol and diesel cars will go a long way to tackling poor air quality but we also need to encourage more people to leave their car at home and walk, cycle or use other means of active travel to get around.”
The RAC says a more ambitious target ‘should be the catalyst for faster change’, but adds there are ‘clearly many hurdles to cross’.
Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of policy, said: “We are not surprised by the Government’s plans to bring forward the date to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035 as there is indisputable need to tackle climate change.
“A more ambitious target should be the catalyst for faster change, but there are clearly many hurdles to cross.
“Manufacturers face a great challenge in switching their production from conventional powertrains to cleaner electric technology.
“More electric vehicles will also require a great deal of investment in charging infrastructure – particularly for those who rely on on-street parking outside their homes.”