Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to ban sales of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in the UK by 2030.
Johnson’s announcement is part of his plan for a “green industrial revolution” that would fight global warming and create up to 250,000 jobs.
Under Johnson’s plan, new hybrid cars and vans that can drive a certain distance without shifting over to the internal-combustion engine can be sold until 2035.
The UK also will spend £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) to increase charging sites for electric vehicles. Billions more will go towards programs to make electric cars more affordable and mass-scale production of electric car batteries.
There has been no serious talk of banning existing cars that burn petrol (gasoline) or diesel.
British cars are electric
Earlier this year, Aston Martin announced plans to install their new hybrid V6 engine in their DB11, DBX and Vantage models. Aston Martin also announced plans to install a version of the new hybrid V6 — a 3.0-litre twin turbo — in the much-anticipated Valhalla supercar.
Rolls-Royce is reportedly developing an all-electric model, but the company seems to have no plans for hybrid cars. Bentley started selling the Bentayga hybrid in 2018. The Bentley Bentayga is priced at $160,000 — and up.
A history of change
The British have a long history of making big economic changes to improve their environment.
The UK rode its massive supply of cheap coal to world economic leadership from 1760 through the Victorian Era. British steel and British steam technology depended on burning massive amounts of coal. Further, coal was the country’s main source of industrial power, electrical generation and home heating until the 1960s. Buildings in most British cities wore a thick coat of black coal soot for decades — or centuries.
A turning point came in December of 1956 with London’s “Great Smog” — a dense, toxic cloud of fog and smoke that choked the usually smoky city for four days. People could not see across the street, and thousands died.
The government passed clean air laws, and the UK began the long pivot away from coal power. Most British power now comes from natural gas, nuclear and wind energy. Most buildings in London are now clean of coal soot.
And it now appears that another turning point is upon us, and most new British cars will be hybrids or all-electric models in the very near future.