Should all go according to plan, it will be the end of the road for new vehicles sold with internal-combustion engines — including hybrids — in Britain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Tuesday that the UK government will now ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars five years earlier than planned, Reuters reports.
It brings the day of reckoning to some point in 2035. Previously, the plan was to end the sale of new vehicles powered only by fossil fuels, identical to the timeline France plans to follow. The Netherlands has floated a measure to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2030, and Norway has proposed the most aggressive ban, to start in 2025. Under these other proposals, new hybrid vehicles would still receive the OK.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet,” Johnson said, according to the BBC, “and no mission that a global Britain is prouder to serve.”
That’s not the case for this updated British ban. Gasoline-, diesel- and hybrid-power vehicles would all be banished to the used car market in the accelerated timeline. Johnson added it could happen even quicker if plans are viable. Traditionally powered cars could still be sold on the used market.
According to the Reuters report, demand for electric cars has picked up steam in the UK, though total sales remain a sliver of the entire auto industry. Gasoline and diesel-powered cars make up 90% of all new vehicle sales. Nevertheless, the extraordinary shift in policy could mark an upheaval in the auto industry as we know it.
Here in the US, there are no such plans. However, California legislators in 2018 introduced a similar ban for the state to exclude the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels. The proposal failed twice, though a similar measure did receive funds to study such a ban for the future.