The UK government is believed to be ready to say it wants a sales ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. This sales ban will include hybrid cars and bring the proposed changes forwards by 10 years.
The government may even consider lowering tax on electric cars after an independent study recently found that ‘some form of financial support to make it easier to afford’ an electric vehicle would be effective and popular.
But assuming this ban does go ahead in 2030, what will it mean to the millions of ordinary drivers out there? We investigate.
How will the ban work?
From the beginning of 2030, you will no longer be able to buy a new car with an internal combustion engine ‑ and that includes hybrid as well as petrol or diesel. You will still be able to buy and sell used petrol, diesel and hybrid models.
Will roads be crammed with electric vehicles?
Not overnight, no. Official figures show in 2019 there were about 33 million cars registered in the UK. Around two million new cars are registered every year. For the first eight months of 2020, only 6.4 per cent (5,589) of new cars sold have been electric only. That proportion will obviously increase before 2030 as more electric cars become available and drivers become used to them.
Despite this, and assuming new registrations continue at that rate in 2030, it will probably take more than a decade for there to be more electric than petrol or diesel cars on UK roads.
What about existing petrol or diesel owners?
This will purely affect new car buyers. If you already own a petrol or diesel car at the start of 2030, you will be able to continue driving it for as long as you want.
What about classic vehicles?
Bodies such as the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) are campaigning on behalf of classic vehicle owners. They vow to protect the rights of car enthusiasts to use and keep old vehicles on the road.
What about fuel stations?
Service stations that sell petrol and diesel will stay open for the foreseeable future. The number of fuel stations closing down is no longer increasing as businesses find a balance between selling fuel (which has a small profit margin) and other more profitable items such as refreshments and groceries. And more fuel stations will start to equip themselves with electric car charging points and maybe even hydrogen pumps in order to take advantage of growing numbers of alternative fuel vehicles.
Will driving a petrol or diesel car become more expensive?
In the run up to the sales ban on new petrol and diesel cars, the government might decide to speed up electric car take-up. As well as financial incentives for electric car ownership, it can increase the cost of running internal combustion engine cars. To do this it would have to hike car tax or perhaps up the tax it takes at the pumps from petrol and diesel. Driving an internal combustion engine car might become less convenient too. Councils may introduce more ‘emissions’ charges on these vehicles entering city centres.
What impact will this have on used car values?
Some drivers might be worried that the value of their petrol or diesel car will plummet overnight. It’s impossible to predict what will happen here. But we do know prices of used internal combustion engine cars will do one of two things: rise or fall.
They will rise if driving electric cars is more expensive or more trouble than is ideal. This will make demand for used petrol or diesel cars stronger than availability, pushing the prices up. This probably depends on the cost of electricity and the number of chargers in place by 2030. It is also reliant on the availability and cost of new electric cars.
The price of used petrol or diesel cars will fall if the transition to electric models is seamless. There might be plenty of charging points, electricity might fall in price and the government might give significant tax breaks to electric car owners while penalising drivers of ‘conventional’ cars.
At this point we’re too far away to give an accurate prediction. One thing we can say for sure: this is likely to represent the biggest shake up in the way we go motoring we’ve ever seen.
79 comments on “2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. What will it really mean?”
I can’t see any of it working out. Currently we can’t produce enough power to charge all these vehicles plus most of today’s electric cars struggle to do over 100 miles per charge. Of course that will get better with time but to be a realistic alternative electric cars will have to reach 300 miles plus per charge. I suspect in time the cost of charging electric cars will become a commercial matter. Those supplying the service will want to recover their investment so prices will be open to market forces.
As it stands I cannot see any way my children could afford a new electric vehicle so they will be forced down the second hand route by which time (and depending on how well the charging has been managed) those cars could have significantly reduced range.
Having read an article in a popular motoring magazine, duly supported by a number of companies, in order to become carbon neutral you would need to drive 50,000 miles in your electric car!
The stats don’t add up; another UK Gov knee jerk reaction one thinks just like we were told to drive diesel cars.
How will the government protect the safety of cars in the street plugged in to electricity from vandalism this i would love to see them sort that one out?
Absolutely right Richard. And where is the electricity going to come from for 33 million cars ? Two new nuclear power stations have recently been cancelled, and existing ones are due to be replaced soon.
This is a non starter. No way will we have enough power stations to supply more demand. We can only just cope now. More houses will put more demand on electricity too. Are we really prepared to pay almost twice the price for an electric car, compared to petrol or diesel? I don’t think so. Pavement chargers are gonna be likely to be vandalised. If you live in high rise flats, are you gonna be able to get to a charge point near your home? What about lorries? What about diesel trains? Too many negatives. How about more Hydrogen? Clean, no waiting time to charge, just like filling with petrol or diesel. Perhaps that might be a better way to go.
I am not bothered because I won’t be around then
The environmental impact of electric vehicles is not yet fully understood. The minerals used in batteries are known to be limited in supply and damaging to the environment in relation to quarry extraction, processing, and disposal so their environmental impact could possibly be higher for electric than hybrid or hydrocarbon fuels. Bio fuels could potentially offer better alternative.
The accident and fire risk associated with battery electric vehicles also needs much more consideration. Whilst multiple vehicle accidents are fortunately now rare a multiple electric vehicle collision and fire presents a major new risk to vehicle occupants, emergency services, and associated risk of fire damage to tunnels, highway construction, and equipment.
An extensive full whole lifecycle costing and risk assessment is needed before a commitment to phase out conventional internal combustion engines is required.
The biggest users of fuel are probably ocean going ships – many carrying export vehicles. These ships could more readily be converted to nuclear power propulsion. There are also potentially other ways to reduce environmental impact of exports such as reshoring production.
2030 is an unrealistic deadline for the technology change required on the scale proposed.
Will the ban on new ICE engines also apply to commercials. Ever followed a lorry? If so you know how much pollution they throw out all the time. Changing to electric cars is pointless unless ICE commercials are allowed to continue.
This is an aim like installing smart meters. Nearer the time we will be told there are practical difficulties (and there are many!) and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars has been put back x years.
Has any thought gone into if you live in a tower block or you have cables all down the road which will be trip hazards for people how does that work. People have not thought this through at all.
What about the thousands of people that tow caravans? At present there is only one electric car capable of towing a caravan with a weight of between 1200 ‘& 2000 kg.
Yep totally agree, I can’t imagine towing mine with an electric car that’s got little more run time than a cordless Hoover. Not practical not the way to go, I think Hydrogen fuel cell should be considered.
The important factor here is the billions of pounds made on the sale of petrol or diesel in taxation which will be hard to recover from electric cars..also a older car or vintage car is greener than any new car made because it made and there is a cost to produce a new vehicle.and even so called green power doesn’t exist there are losses in the movement of electricity down cables etc…so do not be fooled.nothing is for free solar wind all cost.
We downsized to a flat 2016 what I want to know is how are people in flats going to charge their cars, it’s unacceptable to think they can all go to a station given the length of time it takes to recharge.
I may be lucky in the fact I have two private parking bays which maybe a charging point could be put into one of these. Does anyone know what the plans are for people in flats.
Surly the government will be discriminating flat owners by not coming up with a plan.
No-one seems to consider the fact that these batteries need replacing after 8 years at a cost of many thousands of pounds. So if you buy a secondhand car at 5 years it won’t hold its value for long!
Why is the price of insuring electric cars so ridiculously high.I have been quoted £1500 to insure a Nissan Leaf,that is more than three times what I pay now.Scandalous. This is for an used car under £10000.
I remember when the government actually encouraged us to buy Diesel. what a shambles !!!!
Yet another government con, coming under the heading of, “That was our policy at the time”! Expect central government policy to change at least half a dozen times before 2030.
Who will supply the 40 million charging points? There are 10,000 at the moment. Takes more than a day to charge one using std house socket. A Nissan leaf e+ on a special 7kw home socket takes nearly 12 hours. 90 mins to 80% on Charge points. Whole concept is a joke.
Absolutely stupid idea there will be more cars left at the roadside out of charge, what if you run out of charge on the motor way, you cannot just get a can of electricity
What an idea total fools
I think this is another example of this PM stupidity has always with this man he can’t see the wood for the trees,lets hope and pray someone will take over and scrap this utter nonsense
I can see more and more cars abandoned when the batteries become defunct. The cost is prohibitive to replace. Equally, a prominent car correspondent tells us the cost of charging electric cars by motorway service stations and I predict localised charging stations is as much as filling with patrol or diesel. He was charged £38 for a 3 hour charge.
More investment is needed in hydrogen technology if we are to prevail in cheaper long term motoring
Also, there will need to be a major shift in infrastructure in our cities and towns. Very few people have the luxury of a drive. The vast majority have difficulty in finding a parking spot near their house. This is worse when living near sports stadiums such as football or cricket. The limited range makes journeys longer.
Why are governments not investing in hydrogen?
Where is all the lithium going to come from for the batteries? So by 2035 all the miners will be back in a job digging out somewhere to dump all the duff batteries! Safety, there has already been a case of an electric car catching fire in storage 2 days after an accident……
Why should we be forced into buying electric cars They are too expensive and I don’t want one of these So the government are taking our choices Away from Us Myshould I be forced into buying one of his cars when I don’t want one because I like Petrol and diesel cars everyone should have the choice if They want one or not And not be forced into it by this government I will not be Voting for his government ever again
The present alternative to the present government is even keener to go down the supposedly “eco friendlier” route, Brian, so you don’t really want to go there! You can bet that, come 2030 whichever shade of government is in power, they will decide their policies on whatever appears to be best for themselves and their mates.
Although I would love to go electric at the current prices I certainly cannot afford to. There is also not a suitable electric car for my purposes.
How will people like me go on holiday with my caravan down to cornwall it will take 2 days to get there from Doncaster where i am now. i would probably be better off caring my on generator. and how will class one lorrys get on ???
How will people like me go on holiday with my caravan down to cornwall it will take 2 days to get there from Doncaster where i am now. i would probably be better off caring my own generator. and how will class one lorrys get on ???
Poorly thought out by so called experts .
It has to be hydrogen when fully safe and reliable .
I totally agree. For a while now it has been apparent that people who are aware of the relevant technologies, are 100% in favour of Hydrogen fuelled cars. however, I suspect that with profit as the motivating factor, we will hear many scary ‘facts’ generated by various sectors with a personal, financial stake in petrol and electric companies.
I think this happening far too quickly without a great deal of thought on the practical side. I may not know enough about this but what about self-charging hybrid and electric as back up or visa versa? Would it not have been better to introduce this in phases? I am amongst the lucky ones as at my age I doubt very much whether it will impinge very much on my life but I do feel for the younger generations. As others have said badly thought out and rushing into this is not going to go well.
Do you remember what the experts said about how polluting petrol was and diesal was the answer
Lets see how much pollution is caused in the manufacturing of electric cars batteries etc and the cost of re cycling .
I have not read any favourable accounts yet and it is too early to see what might be the benefits and disbenefits.. Experts hmm.
We see plenty of them causing excessive costs to us the tax payer (NHS) computer system for one…sont get me started .good luck to everyone i feel we shall need it .
I don’t think I need to worry in ten years time i will 86 don’t think i will be driving hopefully still be here but not driving
I have a hybrid for a company car the battery range has decreased by 20% in that time.
They are good as new cars but wouldn’t buy a second hand one, this is an environmental disaster wait to happen.
I can see there being a mass rebellion. I’m sure that the so-called experts of the Department of Transport still see cars as a “luxury” item that people can do without. Try telling that to those who may have to leave their home to travel 25-30 miles to their place of employment!
I saw the current Government intention to have £500 million available to subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles. I took the figure for the number of cars on UK roads from the same article. 38 million of them. On that basis car owners can look forward to a “grant” of about £13 to persuade them to buy a minimum £30,000 electric car. And what happens to all the “old” internal combustion cars? The norm will probably be that the ownerS will be expected to dispose of them. And how much will scrap dealers demand to come and take them away? Not less than £25.
I carried on with my calculator. The Government needs to start thinking in terms of thousands of billions of pounds. And one feature of the rebellion could be people saying that they just can’t get to work! What then? Does the Government demand that everyone move home?
How on earth are we going to cope with electricity demand. No new gas boilers from 2030,so increased elecric consumption for heat pumps .All new cars from 2030 electric, so a heavy demand 80 – 150 Kw charge.all this and the uk has just had to fire up 3 coal fired power stations, Ratcliffe, Drax and West burton, just to cope with the slight cold spell last week. Because green energy could not cope. lack of wind and sun. Borris and cabinet have not a clue as to the real world or reality. And while i am moaning why is London only in tier 2
Fix or what ?
Very interesting. Will be many teething problems, but will not affect me as I am 77 now, & doubt whether I will be around anyway !!
Don’t worry if you have a petrol or diesel car. Someone will make a hydrogen conversion kit for the engine in due course.
I live in a terrace house and parking is pretty tight and that’s if no one in other streets close by decide to park. So how do we charge our cars when we can’t park. Another hair brained idea the government has not thought though.
But,yet again, it’s a case of, “It won’t affect those in government”. You can bet that MPs will have sufficient charging points for their own cars.
I’m not sure this green “eco friendly” clap trap is going to be that green.
If the Uk gets to 33 million electric cars with 250KG of batteries each (average weight at this time) and if they can recycle 80% of the batteries that still leaves 1.65 million tons of waste, average life of battery is 7-8 years so after the first 7-8 years there will be 1.65 million tons of waste EVERY YEAR going where ?
Landfill maybe or dumped out at sea, either way it won’t be eco friendly,
In my opinion it doesn’t matter how you get your energy it’s going to cost the planet one way or another, it’s just a case of finding the one that causes the least damage.
Electric vehicles are too quiet therefore are very dangerous. Remember the trolley bus.
You had one nearly touching your shoulder while walking yet you had no idea that it was there
Electric cars may not pollute, but most power stations do, which will get worse in time.What happens to all the old batteries more pollution. Where do you charge millions of cars.In nine years time petrol or Diesel engines could be pollution free!
What will happen to people who tow caravans, or tour say Europe with a van?
There must be a huge incentive involved to make the whole proposition work, and with the government’s present financial situation, I cannot see this happening. I believe a future government will delay the deadline.
How will terraced house and houses without a driveway car owners charge up?
Yet again, Stephen, it won’t affect those in parliament- they will make sure that they and their mates are catered for. The rest of us don’t matter one iota to them.
You must factor in the cost of replacing Li Ion battery packs in electric cars as such batteries can only be charged up so many times before losing their ability to hold a charge.So every 6 to 8 years there will be an addition replacement cost which may be in the £4000 to £6000.This cost is rarely taken into account when the running costs of electric cars are published.Overall the running costs of a lean burn diesel engine will be hard to best even against electric if all costs are taken into account.
It has been stated on a recent motoring article, it will take an electric car approx 50,000 miles before the car outweighs their production pollution costs. Then at the end of the day there is a problem of disposing the highly toxic battery materials.
Also when you fill your car up with fuel …it takes minutes … I cannot imagine how we will physically have enough room for all the charging points needed and many will not be able to do this from home …. flats etc…. nightmare not thought out at all me thinks…
What about the fact that the batteries need replacing at a cost of several thousand pounds after 8 years? The secondhand market must collapse!
They haven’t thought this through properly we’re is the electric coming from there has to be more power stations also I read that having an all electric car the radiation coming off is same as if your sitting in microwave so cancer rates will increase big style
How about people who live on streets where you can’t always park outside your house and dont have a driveway , I step out of my front door straight onto the pavement surely I’m not expected to run a cable out of my door across the pavement to my car ? That’s if I can park outside my house !! The other option is to park at a charge point 20 minutes away leave it there and come back for it . Or sit there for it to charge , bare in mind I’m disabled with limited walking and get home from work at 11 pm most times I’ve been told the charging points are sometimes not working so I have been considering a self charging hybrid hoping these wont get banned ..
In all honesty, there is a underlying dishonesty here. In 10 years the car industry is going green? Even with accelerated production of Electric vehicles and progression in their design and charge rates, no manufacturer yet has a vehicle which can do 5-600 miles per charge or solved the devastation that harvesting Lithium makes. Factor in the production of vehicles using unclean energy and have we solved the problem or created other ones. Lithium mining uses chemicals in its extraction. The batteries have a limited shelf life and they are not easily recycled as I understand. I hope that improvements and advancements are made in order that we don’t trade cleaner air from reduced vehicle emissions against a poisoned environment in their creation and destruction. The government can’t just dream up a magic year (2030) when this all happens without clear guidance of how this will be achieved and how we are going to improve re-charging. Or else a 400 mile round trip to the family will be a challenge and that is before you factor in the issues you would encounter in larger countries such as the US who have a laissez faire attitude to carbon emmisions.
If I had wanted to drive an electric vehicle I would have bought a MILK FLOAT!
Government wants everyone to by electric car the young generation can’t afford to buy electric car the would rather buy a house but they can’t afford that neither only the rich do both
What happens if there’s a power cut in your area ? Can you still charge your car ? Power outages happens so often near where I live.
Have you seen a milk float that can pull a caravan???
Instead of having to wait for your car to charge up at a motorway service area or elsewhere, why doesn’t the Government encourage a battery swapping system. Just like the old days when horses had to be changed on a long journey.
Your article is not quite correct, the government is consulting on the continued sale of hybrids up to 2035 in the New Year. Secondly the cost of recharging and public stations needs to be investigated as it currently ranges from between 20 to 70p per kilowatt hour considerably more than home charging. Electricity pays no fuel duty and that will need to be recovered by government probably in the way of road user charges. All of which he is going to increase the cost of motoring the consumer regardless.
Something needs to be done about battery cost. I believe someone was quoted in excess of £20,000 for a Nissan Leaf replacement battery.
I was told battery would be about 5000! Which is still a lot of money!!
I live in Doncaster South Yorkshire. My wife comes from the far north of Scotland Near Thurso in Caithness. The distance between the two is about 525 miles. In theory could this journey be undertaken in one go with an all electric car?
I agree about the charging of battery cars[not enough capacity]. Cannot see breakdown services carrying spare batteries if attending breakdown [TOW NEEDED] and if charging takes an hour or more , will cars be waiting to get on a charger ?
We are only now beginning to see a little more clearly what is likely to happen. At present the government annually rakes in a huge amount in fuel duty. Fewer vehicles using petrol and diesel means a dramatic drop in in that income stream hence increasing talk about being charged per mile travelled. There may be a different rate but electric car owners will still find their travel costs are increased significantly
Whilst I know the importance of global warming (which has been going on for centuries)
together with rising sea levels the sudden and l mean extremely sudden change of direction to electric vehicles is happening all to quickly.
The Government need to re-evaluate the situation right now before taking another disastrous step like those taken already this year 2020.
We do not know what subsidies Brexit will bring around in terms of car manufacturing,
that is if we have any viable car manufacturing concerns left following the COVID -19
disaster that has set so many industries and occupations back.
Many people now work from home, therefore do no longer have to travel to work, and there has been an even bigger move away from public transport.
The government in their quest to go completely green encouraging us to take up cycling and walking instead of using the car so exactly which way do they want us to go.
The lack of people in full time work or any job means that there won’t be millions of us earning the sort of money they think we can afford to buy into this very expensive technology.
The car industry do not know where they are going with thousands of petrol/ diesel cars sitting in fields rotting going nowhere.
The need to go green has to be done a lot slower than proposed, especially when the rest of the world do not comply with our thoughts, without that why should we bankrupt our Country when others laugh at us.
A short while ago this same government offered me money to buy a diesel car, which l did, but now with so much uncertainty at their level l would be very reluctant to change to anything other than perhaps a Hybrid, which at least gives ME options, but again the cost in today’s market is totally prohibitive.
We are being driven back into the dark ages.
What happened to mine?
Totally agree, we also need to look at efficiency!. When we are out on business or long haul deliveries when we re-fuel it takes around 5 minutes for a car or somewhere around 30 minutes for a lorry so who pays for additional time when charging a vehicle and how many additional charge points will you as you can get slot of vehicles through a petrol station while you charge one vehicle.
Need to re-think this before the country stops again.
What if you run out of charge. You can’t take a can and find a petrol station. Unlike filling up with petrol, that only takes a minute or two ,there is quite a wait while the car is charging. Also with the miles you get on a charge at the moment, can mean a stop if doing a long motorway journey. Will the government hike tax on petrol and diesel cars or will they add tax to electric points, which they provide?
Practically it just won’t work. Another case of politicians pandering to a minority “ green” movement without thinking it through and talking to the real experts before releasing headline statements.
I understand there are about 11,000 electric charging points over the country at the present time. With the possibility of millions of electric cars needing charging where are the millions of extra points being installed are who pays for them and who wants to wait whilst charging takes place.
And the point has already been made about generating enough electricity to cope. Certainly not from wind farms that don’t work with no wind or too much wind.
And the cost of electric cars and replacing batteries is another factor.
A recent report states that an electric car has to travel 50,000 miles to compare to a petrol/diesel car because of the carbon footprint produced in manufacturing electric.
And what about the real culprits of pollution:- heavy goods and bus vehicles? Not mentioned.
The good thing though is that motorcycles are not included in this 2030 deadline so we can all buy a motorcycle when the time comes.
The thought “ Led by donkeys comes to mind”.!!
My son bought a Tesla a couple of years ago. Almost immediately he was dissatisfied by the technological support and the distance between charges. Even with booster charges, at best 30 mins added to a long journey and tbat is assuming there isn’t a queue for the recharge station. Another ill thought out consequence of electric cars is the disposal of the (highly toxic) lithium batteries. They are huge and do not perform or last as long as has been advertised. Electric car technology is no where near as good or advanced as we are being lead to believe. The biggest CON og the century.
I agree with most of the comments posted.
I lecture in transport studies and discuss the pitfalls of green technology with students and colleagues.
The general consensus is that it will take far longer to introduce electric cars, there are many items to sort out first such as infrastructure and economy of scale and surprisingly a good point the students mentioned, how much difference will it make compared to industry, shipping & air travel emissions.
A good point raised by John Carr was the fact that whilst we in Britain conform to these rules, you can guarantee the rest of the world won’t! (a bit like Health & Safety).
A final point is that most modern cars only a few years old, reduce their emissions using modern technology by more than 90%!
I feel the world would be better reducing the amount of Trees being decimated by industry, don’t forget they are the lungs of the Earth.
Personally, I forecast the rise in desirability of petrol cars, particularly performance cars. Everyone loves the roar of a v8 engine, its visceral. I also love electric cars but I guarantee the the powers that be, whoever that is in 2030, will make a complete mess of the infrastructure particularly if it’s outsourced to private companies or worse still, PPI. You know it will be.
We were once told that we should buy a diesel car as that caused less pollution. Then low and behold we diesel drivers were the scum of the earth causing more pollution. How much green house gases are caused by the production of both the production of the electric cars and the electricity used to charge them. Then once they die, how much green house gases are produced to recycle the car and the battery. We need proper science, before we go down the wrong road and find our mistakes. Also here in Scotland distances are so far, the are no cars on the market that will allow us to travel there and back without a charge. So not like a 5 minute stop and go with petrol. You have to wait 3 to 5 hours to recharge your car.
Totally agree, they have not looked at any of the downsides, only the upsides,according to them.
Whilst they bring the date forward there is no time for the industry to regroup which will see some closures.
They could have a sale of all the hybrid vehicles awaiting the melting pot and in so doing
Would make a step in the right direction. Cannot think it would be viable to convert existing new fossil fuel models.
The answer is simple…….Hydrogen! Unfortunately we are told it may be dangerous….like driving around with 60 litres of highly inflammable petroleum isn’t. I would suggest that there is more of a financial incentive to promote electricity
What about the shape and design of electric cars all the one’s currently in use and going forward are based on current models and just converted to electric which isn’t the best use space for example if the surface area of the vehicle was able to convert solar power into the batteries this would greatly increase mileage not enough work in this area or ideas yet to be explored has been done
Nobody has yet come up with a solution regarding those who live in blocks of flats or high rise accomodation. Where do you charge your car? Also, it takes about 15 minutes to top up a petrol or diesal car. Fine on a long journey, but how long to charge up an electric vehicle?
There are two main questions that our experts have not answered. How long do the batteries last, and how much do they cost to replace? Nobody seems to want to tell us that.
Surely Electric Cars will takeover in next few years. Companies like Tesla will take over the market and diesel and petrol car.