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UK takes historic step to decarbonise cars and vans

The UK has taken another historic step on the road to ending its contribution to climate change while boosting jobs in the process, as the Prime Minister, Transport Secretary and Business Secretary announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030. This will put the UK on course to be the fastest G7 country to decarbonise cars and vans. Following consultation with stakeholders, industry and the wider public, a two-phased approach to the process was announced.

Step one will see the phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030. Step two will see all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035. Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions (e.g. plug in hybrids or full hybrids), and this will be defined through consultation.

The move is underpinned by over £1.8bn to support greater uptake of zero emission vehicles for greener car journeys. New measures announced today include more chargepoints to build on our world-class infrastructure network, alongside innovation for new clean technologies. This investment will improve air quality in our towns and cities and support economic growth right across the UK, putting us at the forefront of the zero emission vehicle revolution with vehicles built right here in the UK. Part of today’s announcement is £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets [across the UK] and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars.

Charging vehicles will become second-nature and a part of everyday life, just like charging your mobile phone is today. To meet future demand, the Government is providing grants for homeowners, businesses and local authorities to install chargepoints and is also supporting the deployment of rapid chargepoints. This had already supported the installation of over 140,000 residential chargepoints and 9,000 chargepoints for staff parking at businesses.

Government has also already supported the development of a network of over 19,000 public chargepoints, including over 3,500 rapid devices, in partnership with local authorities and private sector investment, making it one the largest networks in Europe and today, a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid chargepoint anywhere along England's motorways and major A roads.

The Government today has also pledged £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition. Alongside the further funding, after laying legislation this week, green number plates are set to be introduced from December to increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads and help local authorities bring in local incentives. For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones.

To ensure the phase out dates are met and to support interim carbon budgets, the Department for Transport will publish a Green Paper in the coming months on the post EU regulatory regime for CO2 emissions from new road vehicles. This will consider both overall fleet efficiency and how to best deliver the transition to 100% zero emission sales for cars and vans. A consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs to put the UK in the vanguard of zero emission freight will also be launched.

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