United Kingdom to ban sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040

Earlier this month, France had announced that it was set to ban the sales of petrol and diesel powered vehicles by 2040, and now, Britain has pledged to do the same, with the same timeline being stated, The Guardian reports.

U.K. Environment Minister Michael Gove announced a $3.9 billion air pollution plan on Wednesday, which included the ban on fossil-fueled cars.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol [gasoline] cars", he said, "not just because of the health problems that they cause, but also because the emissions that they cause would mean that we would accelerate climate change, do damage to our planet and the next generation".

Within the plan, the government confirmed that it is committed to ending the sale of diesel and petrol only cars by 2040 as well as other more immediate measures aimed at encouraging local authorities to address vehicle emissions in their locality.

Vincent Tourette, Renault UK boss said: "We've been pioneers in electric vehicles and this news has validated that we got it right before anyone else".

After that date, automakers will only be allowed to sell cars that run on electricity or other cleaner power.

Plug-in cars are still only about one percent of all United Kingdom vehicle sales, yet the country is one of only a handful worldwide to have more than 100,000 plug-in automobiles on the road.

The shift globally toward vehicles that are electric powered will create a big upheaval across many sectors from oil companies hit by less demand for gasoline to fuel vehicles to makers of fuel injectors and spark plugs, whose products will not be needed for electric powered vehicles.

"Meanwhile, the latest clean technologies available in modern diesel and petrol powertrains will continue to play an important part in keeping cities and businesses across the United Kingdom moving".

Improving air quality is about more than just transport, so next year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy. BMW stated Tuesday that a fully-electric version of its Mini will be produced in Oxford in 2019 while Volvo said all new models of its vehicles will have electric motors by the same year.

"Councils now need to see more details to make sure these plans are as effective as possible".

Quentin Willson, a former presenter of Top Gear, said it would cost trillions, adding: "You are going to have to get rid of 15 million diesel cars, you'll have to change auto factories, no more petrol stations; just think about what that's going to do".

If the recommended measures are not sufficient to ensure legal compliance, local authorities can consider introducing restrictions on polluting vehicles using affected roads or introducing charging.

"It is also a pioneer in zero emission fuel cell technology and it was the first manufacturer to make a fuel cell vehicle commercially available to the United Kingdom market back in October 2014". China accounts for more than 40% of the electric cars sold in the world and more than double the number sold in the US, according to the IEA.

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