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July 14, 2021

UK government to ban sale of all ICE heavy goods vehicles by 2040

A new 'decarbonisation plan' sees heavy diesel goods vehicles banned from sale by 2040.

By Graeme Roberts

The UK’s transport decarbonisation plan, billed “revolutionary” by transport minister Grant Shapps, will see the sector reach net zero by 2050.

“The government is today announcing its intention to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, subject to consultation – combined with the 2035 phase out date for polluting cars and vans,” the Department of Transport said.

The government claims cleaner transport “will create and support highly skilled jobs, with the production of zero emission road vehicles alone having the potential to support tens of thousands of jobs worth up to GBP9.7bn GVA in 2050.”

The consultation proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes or earlier if a faster change seems feasible.

The plan also sets out how the government will improve public transport and increase support for “active travel to make them the natural first choice for all who can take them”, creating a net zero rail network by 2050, ensuring net zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040 and leading the transition to green shipping.

Shapps said: “It’s not about stopping people doing things: it’s about doing the same things differently. We will still drive, but increasingly in zero emission cars.”

The government also today published a 2035 delivery plan, which brings together all of the measures for decarbonising cars and vans, from across government, into a single document.

It also said it had brought forward the target date for the whole central government fleet of 40,000 cars and vans to be fully zero emission by 2027, three years earlier than previously planned.

It also published its response to the electric vehicle smart charging consultation, committing to laying legislation later this year to ensure that all new private EV chargepoints meet smart charging standards.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The automotive sector welcomes the publication of the plan and associated consultations, which are necessary to create a clear and supportive framework to accelerate the transition to zero mobility.

“The industry is already delivering with an ever-expanding range of electrified vehicles which are being bought in ever greater numbers.

“However, achieving net zero cannot rely solely on the automotive sector. Massive investment, not least in infrastructure, is necessary and must be delivered at accelerated pace, for which we still await a plan and equally ambitious targets. Crucially, we must maintain a strong and competitive market that ensures the shift to electrified vehicles is affordable for all.”

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