Mark Webber driving a 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid in LondonEnlarge Photo
The United Kingdom will ban the sale of vehicles powered purely by gasoline or diesel by 2040, environment minister Michael Gove said on Wednesday.
“Today we are confirming that that means there should be no new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2040,” Gove told BBC Radio.
He went on to explain that the U.K. government hopes the ban will eventually lead to the removal of virtually all cars powered solely by an internal combustion engine by 2050.
The 2040 deadline is the same that Gove’s French counterpart, Nicolas Hulot, earlier in July said by which France would ban the sale of gasoline and diesel-powered cars.
Other countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and even Germany are considering similar bans on gasoline and diesel cars. While in China, the world’s biggest market for new cars, the government is introducing strict quotas as well as generous incentives to spur the growth of electrified cars.
It should be noted that hybrids and plug-in hybrids, both of which feature internal combustion engines, would still be allowed under the new rules.
According to Reuters, the U.K. government has been under pressure to reduce air pollution after losing legal cases brought by campaign groups. The Volkswagen Group’s diesel scandal has also shone a negative light on diesel cars which make up a substantial portion of new vehicles sold across Britain.
To aid the transition, the U.K. government is looking at a scrappage scheme, similar to the Cash for Clunkers program run in the United States in 2009. Gove said the government would also provide funds and new rules for local councils to restrict diesel cars in areas with high pollution levels.