British PM moves petroleum vehicle ban forward to 2030

Pete Flint

Posts: 25   +3
Staff
Why it matters: The UK's Boris Johnson has brought forward the deadline for banning the sale of new cars and vans fuelled solely by petrol or diesel from 2035 to 2030. While climate-focused critics say he has not invested enough to make his "green industrial revolution" a reality, automotive industry critics say this deadline is too tight to keep electric vehicles universally cost-effective for UK consumers.

The UK Prime Minister has been changing his tune on climate change in recent months with his new Green Plan, pushing harder for renewable energies, nuclear power, and carbon capture technology, and seemingly pulling away from burning fossil fuels.

One of the most notable announcements affecting consumers has been a ban on the sale of new petroleum-fuelled cars and vans starting after 2030. Apparently, hybrids that meet regulation will still be allowed.

Critics of the PM believe this is simply a charm offensive for the new, climate-focused Biden administration in the United States. Evidence of this claim stems from the £12bn budget for his “green industrial revolution,” a pittance when compared with the controversial £100bn budget of the High Speed 2 rail project that began in September.

While some believe Mr. Johnson should be doing more, various automotive CEOs have spoken out against the endeavor. Despite producing class-leading electric vehicles, BMW boss, Oliver Zipse, questioned whether this move from the UK is wise, stating “the effect will be that many car drivers will not be able to afford to drive cars any more.”

EVs do typically run more expensive than fossil fuel-powered cars. Development in cost-effective EV technology will have to be a priority in the 2020s, and subsidies from the government may be a necessity if consumers and industry leaders are to happily step in line.

Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, says the UK’s automotive industry shares the government’s ambitions, but he believes the timeframe will be difficult to stomach.

“Manufacturers have invested billions to deliver vehicles that are already helping thousands of drivers switch to zero,” says Hawes, “but this new deadline, fast-tracked by a decade, sets an immense challenge."

The £12bn to be invested in the wider green project will cover a swath of carbon efficient technology, such as battery development and mass production, charging stations, electric vehicle production in the Midlands, nuclear power plant construction, and a young, but burgeoning, UK wind industry in the North. Whether this budget will be sufficient will be made evident in the years to come.

“Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country,” says Johnson. “My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050."

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neeyik

Posts: 1,443   +1,590
Staff member
Despite producing class-leading electric vehicles, BMW boss, Oliver Zipse, questioned whether this move from the UK is wise, stating “the effect will be that many car drivers will not be able to afford to drive cars any more.”
I think what Mr Zipse had meant to say was "the effect will be that many people won't be buying a new car in 2030 onwards, especially ours." It's not like the sale of petrol and diesel fuel is stopping then. Of course, what it does mean is that second hand car sales will greatly benefit from this.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,472   +3,574
As to BWW's CEO saying this will make cars to expensive for certain people, perhaps he should look at his company, particularly, and others. Many people already cannot afford his cars and others. BMW, IMO, is a prestige vehicle given their cost, and given their reliability ratings from places like Consumer Reports are crap. BMWs are also more expensive to repair.

IMO, this is the right path to follow. Humanity seems perpetually addicted to fossil fuels and this is, perhaps, the only way to break that addiction. Green House Gas and global warming issues aside, fossil fuels pollute and many studies indicate that that pollution, especially when airborne, causes medical issues. If those medical issues can be treated, they are expensive to treat. IMO, it is just as costly, if not more so, not to retire fossil fuels as it is to retire them. In the long run, this will drive down the cost of EVs and anyone in the industry with half a brain cell should view this as inspiration to invest in energy storage research particularly batteries and/or supercapacitors. There is already research in the pipeline for LiON batteries with 10x the current capacity of what is on the shelf today. https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tiny-silicon-particles-power-lithium.html
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-electrolyte-li-ion-batteries.html
IMO, the worst thing to do is to keep ignoring the fossil fuel problems.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 332   +401
2035 seems like the right date to me as an EV owner. I do expect there to be several EVs to be available at $20k by 2030, but very few practical ones by that point (unlike gas cars currently provide). I think price and practicality is the benchmark for cutting off new gas vehicle sales.

All of this is moot however if full self driving hits level 5, can be installed in EVs that can last 500k miles, and there are tens of millions produced. This will probably kill the new car market as it’ll become immensely affordable to ride in a robotaxi, more so than owning a traditional car. And the infrastructure part of this equation is the easy part since producing tens of millions of EVs is significantly harder.
 
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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,270   +2,114
It's ambitious and best of all like all government promises in 10 years, they won't be around to see that it happens or take the blame when it inevitably doesn't.

It's too soon I think. But hey it's better to set a goal. The UK needs a massive electrical grid upgrade to support millions of electric vehicles, at the very least that does look viable and will be a positive. Throwing a bunch of nuclear and wind at it. Seems like a plan.
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,472   +3,574
2035 seems like the right date to me as an EV owner. I do expect there to be several EVs to be available at $20k by 2030, but very few practical ones by that point (unlike gas cars currently provide). I think price and practicality is the benchmark for cutting off new gas vehicle sales.

All of this is moot however if full self driving hits level 5, can be installed in EVs that can last 500k miles, and there are tens of millions produced. This will probably kill the new car market as it’ll become immensely affordable to ride in a robotaxi, more so than owning a traditional car. And the infrastructure part of this equation is the easy part since producing tens of millions of EVs is significantly harder.
 

bviktor

Posts: 265   +472
Year-to-date the UK stands at 5.5% BEV, and it's growing constantly. This excludes PHEVs. With PHEVs combined, it's 12.1% for November and 9.1% YTD. 10 years seem plenty to reach 100%.
 
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fadingfool

Posts: 189   +191
The UK produces less than 1% of global CO2 emissions of which UK road transport is 20% of this. Cars make up around 60% of this 20% - so a quick back of the cigarette pack maths show that over the next 80 years if the UK eliminate all cars from their global CO2 emissions this would delay global warming by about 1 month - over the next 80 years (based on RCP 6.0). Switching to EVs will instead delay global warming by around 2 weeks over the next 80 years. I'm sure those two weeks will make all the difference....

(all other things being equal).
 

amghwk

Posts: 857   +682
BMW boss, Oliver Zipse, questioned whether this move from the UK is wise, stating “the effect will be that many car drivers will not be able to afford to drive cars any more.”
And this...coming from the BMW boss?

Hey, Mr. Oliver Zipse. Please make YOUR cars affordable for the general population first!
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,684   +958
As to BWW's CEO saying this will make cars to expensive for certain people, perhaps he should look at his company, particularly, and others. Many people already cannot afford his cars and others. BMW, IMO, is a prestige vehicle given their cost, and given their reliability ratings from places like Consumer Reports are crap. BMWs are also more expensive to repair.

IMO, this is the right path to follow. Humanity seems perpetually addicted to fossil fuels and this is, perhaps, the only way to break that addiction. Green House Gas and global warming issues aside, fossil fuels pollute and many studies indicate that that pollution, especially when airborne, causes medical issues. If those medical issues can be treated, they are expensive to treat. IMO, it is just as costly, if not more so, not to retire fossil fuels as it is to retire them. In the long run, this will drive down the cost of EVs and anyone in the industry with half a brain cell should view this as inspiration to invest in energy storage research particularly batteries and/or supercapacitors. There is already research in the pipeline for LiON batteries with 10x the current capacity of what is on the shelf today. https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tiny-silicon-particles-power-lithium.html
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-electrolyte-li-ion-batteries.html
IMO, the worst thing to do is to keep ignoring the fossil fuel problems.
Keep in mind, this is BMW in Europe, not BWM in North America. They're completely different things in a practical sense. Last time I was in the UK (which, admittedly, was 2010), BMW was kind of like Ford or Toyota in America: not an econo-box, but certainly not out of reach for most people. Meanwhile, the Ford we had to drive in the UK was absolutely luxurious compared to anything Ford had available in North America.

Imports tend to be the higher margin, luxury offerings in the country they are imported to. You can't really make the numbers work on cheaper models, after import taxes.
 
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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 91   +91
2035 seems like the right date to me as an EV owner. I do expect there to be several EVs to be available at $20k by 2030, but very few practical ones by that point (unlike gas cars currently provide). I think price and practicality is the benchmark for cutting off new gas vehicle sales.

All of this is moot however if full self driving hits level 5, can be installed in EVs that can last 500k miles, and there are tens of millions produced. This will probably kill the new car market as it’ll become immensely affordable to ride in a robotaxi, more so than owning a traditional car. And the infrastructure part of this equation is the easy part since producing tens of millions of EVs is significantly harder.
JohnnyCab for everyone!
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,581   +6,089
Where is not for all the politics involved, electrical vehicles would have been the norm (with a few exceptions) many decades ago. Those that have their established means and methods are always resistant to change but had they been more cooperative they would not be fully established in their products and their futures. Such a drastic step is inevitable but laudatory and once again, those on the European continent lead the way ahead of the US. One of these days the US will once again be the leader, but it probably won't be in this decade .....
 

Irata

Posts: 966   +1,418
TechSpot Elite
And this...coming from the BMW boss?

Hey, Mr. Oliver Zipse. Please make YOUR cars affordable for the general population first!
They actually become pretty affordable as older used cars, something we most likely won't see with used EV.

And imo that's the problem I see with EV - cheap second / third hand used vehicle availability.

 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,472   +3,574
The UK produces less than 1% of global CO2 emissions of which UK road transport is 20% of this. Cars make up around 60% of this 20% - so a quick back of the cigarette pack maths show that over the next 80 years if the UK eliminate all cars from their global CO2 emissions this would delay global warming by about 1 month - over the next 80 years (based on RCP 6.0). Switching to EVs will instead delay global warming by around 2 weeks over the next 80 years. I'm sure those two weeks will make all the difference....

(all other things being equal).
So, should we all ignore any reason for getting rid of pollution from fossil fuels?
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,472   +3,574
Where is not for all the politics involved, electrical vehicles would have been the norm (with a few exceptions) many decades ago. Those that have their established means and methods are always resistant to change but had they been more cooperative they would not be fully established in their products and their futures. Such a drastic step is inevitable but laudatory and once again, those on the European continent lead the way ahead of the US. One of these days the US will once again be the leader, but it probably won't be in this decade .....
I basically agree with what you are saying.
Back in the early 1900s, electric vehicles were abandoned for fossil fueled vehicles because the latter were cheaper. If that had not happened, research may have continued, and I would not be surprised if EVs were far in advance of where they are now, technologically speaking. IMO, the situation is yet another example where humanity had an opportunity to excel, but charged ahead without respect to the consequences. At least as I see it, politics is only one aspect of it.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 155   +115
Oh no - it's only 9 years away - how will we do it - it's impossible - women can't work in munition factories , man can't be put on the moon by the end of the decade, seat belts will make cars too expensive.
Actually we could have Johnnycabs right now in most town centres . You know for $100 you can buy some toy cars that can go around any plausible design track - by sensing fields built in the tracks .

Lay the town with sensors , get a fairground bumper car - give it a bubble top and radar - hook it up to a app like those scooters - they rest on charging pads and take on water to steam clean the insides with Aiko the robot dog assisting with his tongue
 

Edster

Posts: 69   +50
I work at a University. 80 year old professors managed to become proficient at teaching on Zoom, converted hours and hours of laboratory component into videos and online quizzes in merely a couple months due to the pandemic. Thousands of businesses I am sure converted most of their workflow online.

Reality is, we underestimate our ability to change under pressure. Automotive companies says it may be hard, but is it really? Most major car companies have at least 1 EV out already.

The UK produces less than 1% of global CO2 emissions of which UK road transport is 20% of this. Cars make up around 60% of this 20% - so a quick back of the cigarette pack maths show that over the next 80 years if the UK eliminate all cars from their global CO2 emissions this would delay global warming by about 1 month - over the next 80 years (based on RCP 6.0). Switching to EVs will instead delay global warming by around 2 weeks over the next 80 years. I'm sure those two weeks will make all the difference....

(all other things being equal).
This is the classic defeatist argument. Tackling one does not mean we not tackle the others. If you don't start somewhere, we will never get there.
 

mbk34

Posts: 93   +40
I live in a large city and don't see much point in owning a car. For the most part it just sits in front of my house doing nothing. I prefer the idea of hiring a car for just the amount of time I need it for. I rarely drive move than 20 miles so an electric car is fine. I recently tried using a very small personal electric vehicle to get about, an electric unicycle, and I absolutely love the thing - it costs me pennies to charge up, has a range of 50 miles and will do 30mph if I'm feeling brave. I love it! It's even small enough to wheel into shops etc so I don't worry about it getting stolen etc. Sadly the UK government aren't keen on them so they've made it illegal to ride them. Go figure.
 
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Burty117

Posts: 3,889   +1,784
Yeah this won't happen, usual UK government nonsense. It amazes me how often the UK government outright lie about pretty much everything and have absolutely no consequences.

2035 looked almost possible, it wasn't, 2040 is when it would have actually happened, by bringing it forward just means it will definitely be delayed rather than most likely delayed.
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,227   +3,469
Johnson knows this will be shot down in short order and he'll still look like some kind of enviro-knight. Win-win for a savvy politician.
 

fadingfool

Posts: 189   +191
So, should we all ignore any reason for getting rid of pollution from fossil fuels?
All or nothing huh? No I suggest reducing the CO2 growth areas rather than wasting resources putting the plugs in the plug holes of the titanic. Helping developing (2nd and 3rd world) countries with greener energy rather then building the coal plants they have planned would be a good start. This plan by Johnson is virtue signalling with little real world advantage - focus on solutions that will actually make a difference.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 818   +300
Clickbait title. He's not banning all combustion-engine vehicles. Combustion-engine + electric motor hybrids will still be allowed. So..... it's not as restrictive as the headline suggests.