2030 petrol and diesel ban explained

Last updated October 28, 2021

As part of his 10-point ‘green industrial revolution’, the Prime Minister brought forward the UK’s ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to 2030. This means that from 2030, you will not be able to buy a new car with a petrol or diesel engine.

This article explains the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban, including its reasons, roll-out and proposed government grants for electric vehicles (EVs).

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The 2030 petrol and diesel car ban

The ban is designed to protect the environment and accelerate the shift towards zero-emission vehicles. The government will also roll out extra grants for electric vehicle (EV) buyers and more funding for charge points. Read on to learn the full details of the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban.

Reasons for the ban on petrol and diesel cars

  • Reduce carbon emissions

    The plans aim to improve climate resilience by significantly reducing carbon emissions, which currently account for around one-fifth of all harmful emissions in the UK.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Investing in innovation is crucial in decarbonising transport, which is why I’m delighted to see creative zero-emission projects across the UK come to life.”

    Responding to the announcement, the National Grid’s transport decarbonisation director Graeme Cooper said: “Banning the sale of new ICE cars from 2030 will cut carbon emissions and reduce air pollution. We’re pleased the Government has recognised how critical it is to accelerate the roll-out of the underlying infrastructure to facilitate to high power charging to enable the transition to EVs.

  • Create jobs

    The government states that its new strategy will create jobs, too. A recent Greenpeace report found that the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars could generate up to 32,000 jobs in the same year while increasing GDP by £4.2bn, compared with the original phase-out date of 2035.

Will hybrid cars be banned in 2030?

Despite the ban, certain hybrid cars and vans that can travel a significant distance with no carbon emissions will be allowed to be sold until 2035. Hydrogen vehicles will still be able to be sold as they are zero-emission vehicles.

The 2030 petrol and diesel ban roll-out

The steps below map the roll-out for the 2030 petrol and diesel ban:

  • Step 1

    In November 2020, the UK government brought the phase-out date for new petrol and diesel car sales forward from 2040 to 2030.

  • Step 2

    All new cars and vans must be zero-emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

  • Step 3

    Between 2030 and 2035, new petrol and diesel car sales are permitted if they can drive a significant distance with zero emissions (e.g., full hybrids or plug-in hybrids). This legislation will be defined through consultation.

What does the green industrial revolution involve?

The £1.3bn project will accelerate the roll-out of EV charge points in homes and on streets and motorways nationwide. The primary objectives are to encourage the uptake of EVs and make it easier and more convenient for people to charge their cars.

There are currently around 14,000 residential charge points and 9,000 in business car parks across the UK. As part of its green industrial revolution, the government pledges to provide grants for homeowners, businesses, and local authorities to install more.

What grants are the government offering electric vehicle drivers?

The government 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.

Green number plates were also introduced to raise clean vehicle awareness and help local authorities launch local incentives, such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones.

What is next for post-EU carbon emission law?

Carbon emissions from cars and vans newly registered in the UK were previously governed by EU regulations. The Department of Transport took over the application and enforcement of CO2 standards from 1st January 2021. Under the new regime, car manufacturers must meet UK-specific targets, purported to be at least as ambitious as current EU CO₂ emissions targets. You can find a comprehensive list of the UK’s new driving laws for 2021 here.