U.K. Softens “Ban” on Non-Electric Cars

The U.K.’s previously announced ban on piston-powered cars by 2040 has been softened to permit hybrids, which would offer zero-emission “capability.”

In its “Road to Zero” plan unveiled earlier today, the government has set a goal for 2030 that 50% of all new cars and 40% of light vans sold will be propelled by all-electric or piston-electric hybrid powertrains. Those ratios compare with current rates of 2% for ultra-low-emission vehicles and less and 1% for EVs.

By 2040, the plan calls for a “majority” of new cars and vans to be zero-emission vehicles. The company has pledged to cut overall vehicle emissions to zero by 2050.

Britain’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders backs the plan and its technology-neutral stance. But the industry trade group says achieving the 2030 goal and beyond will require government’s long-term commitment to a “world-class package of incentives” to encourage sales and infrastructure development.