U.K. Prepared to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2040

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
u k prepared to ban internal combustion engines by 2040

Britain will ban the sale of all new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of the government’s plan to reduce air pollution and copy France. The strategy, fronted by U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove and transport secretary Chris Grayling, would not only ban the future sale of internal combustion engines, but also provide a governmental incentive program similar to the United States’ Car Allowance Rebate System — colloquially known as “cash for clunkers.”

Because, as you know, nothing is better for the environment ( or the used car market) than populating scrapyards with fully functional automobiles and having factories across the globe expend extra energy to replace them.

“We can’t carry on with diesel and petrol cars,” Gove told British television audiences on Wednesday. “There is no alternative to embracing new technology.”

That’s doubly true, as the government was ordered in April to publish stringent new plans to tackle air pollution after the British high court rejected attempts by ministers to delay the policy until after the general election. Much of the U.K. believes it’s in the midst of a pollution crisis believed to be responsible for over 40,000 premature deaths every year.

However, pushing through legislation that makes EVs mandatory may be pointless. Manufacturers are already scaling down engine sizes and adopting hybridized powertrains to meet existing emissions guidelines. Volvo wants to make all of its vehicles hybrids or purely electric within a couple of years, Mercedes-Benz has begun widely adopting mild-hybrid systems, and practically every other automaker is investing heavily in battery development. The 2040 ban could be redundant by the time companies stand to face penalties.

That said, the 2040 deadline could be unrealistic if adoption progress more slowly. However, British demand for electrically powered vehicles grew a whopping 40 percent in 2015. While that only amounts to about 2.5 percent of the total market, it accounted for around 50,000 registrations in the final quarter of 2015. The number has nearly doubled by the first quarter of 2017 as EV market share closes in on 5 percent.

“Ending diesel and petrol car sales by 2040 is a step in the right direction but given that electric cars are coming anyway this is probably pretty irrelevant. It’s a bit like saying we’re banning the sale of steam engines by 2040,” said David Bailey, a professor of industrial strategy at the Aston Business School.

The real pinch of the plan will be felt by diesel drivers in the short term. From around 2020, specific jurisdictions will be able to levy extra charges on vehicles using the UK’s 81 most polluted routes if air quality fails to improve — and cars with the highest emissions will suffer the highest fines. According to The Guardian, the government wants taxes to be used as a last resort, fearing a backlash against any actions that punish motorists.

Other less stringent plans are afoot within the UK. The country hopes that by retrofitting buses, changing road layouts, and giving local governments agency in how to handle the pollution problem, it can increase air quality almost immediately.

For the United States, which has become less worried about automotive pollution in 2017, this means added pressure on domestic automakers hoping to sell a product globally. Diesel sales continue to trend downward and efforts exist in most developed nations to convince the public to adopt electric cars.

[Image: Ruben de Rijcke/ Wikimedia Commons ( CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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  • NMGOM NMGOM on Jul 28, 2017

    Brits are suffering from Euro-think, an especially damaging virus that can be economically fatal. And here I thought that "Brexit" was going to be the cure! Now I see they have succumbed to Frenchitis... Good God, man, how are we to hear the gusto of a roaring engine in the morning?! When the racing MC announces, "Gentlemen, start your engines!", are we to hear the whine of pathetic E- motors, who, like the littlest piggy, will go "wee, wee, wee" all the way home? ==================

  • Markf Markf on Jul 28, 2017

    "You also have no clue where they stand on climate matters. Indeed, part of the Syria refugee crisis is due to climate change, if you knew anything about what you spew about. You are a piece of work." Yes, I am sure the region awash in oil is VERY concerned over Global Warming. What's the official ISIS stance on Global Warming? Maybe somewhere in their policy paper between enslaving and raping Yazidi women and chopping off heads of infidels. And yes, barbarians are chopping off heads, raping women and killing children because Global Warming. Global Warming, what CAN'T it do!

  • Svenmeier Speedometer display in the center console screen? Why? This is a dealbreaker for me.
  • Alan I do believe that traffic infringements penalties based on income will affect those who are financial able to flout safety regulations.When I drive above the posted speed limit I assess my situation using probability. If I'm confronted with a situation where time is of more value to me than speed I will speed if I assess the probability of a fine to be quite low. I can afford the fine, what I can't afford is the loss of points on my drivers licence.In Australia (12 points in QLD and all States have a point system) we have a points system attached to your drivers licence. An open drivers licence is granted 12 points every 3 years. So, if you receive an infringement for exceeding the speed limit it takes 3 years for the points to be removed. I generally get caught once every 2 years.I think a points system would be a fairer system over a system based on income. Its about retaining your licence and safety, not financial gain by the government.As you can see below it wouldn't take long for many US drivers to lose their drivers licence.[h2]Current penalties for individuals caught speeding[/h2]InfringementPenalty amountDemerit pointsLess than 11km/h over the speed limit$287. 1 pointAt least 11km/h but not more than 20km/h over the speed limit$431. 3 pointsMore than 20km/h but not more than 30km/h over the speed limit$646. 4 pointsMore than 30km/h but not more than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,078. 6 pointsMore than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,653. 8 points and 6 month suspension
  • Wjtinfwb Instead of raising fines, why don't the authorities enforce the laws and write tickets, and have judges enforce the penalty or sentence of a crime. I live across the street from an Elementary School on a 4-lane divided state highway. every morning the cop sits in his car and when someone sails through the School Zone well above the 10 mph limit, he merely hits his siren to get their attention but that's it. I've never, in 5 years, seen them get out of the car and actually stop and driver and confront them about speeding. As a result, no one pays attention and when the School Zone light is not lit, traffic flies by at 50-60 mph in the 45 zone. Almost no enforcement occurs until the inevitable crash, last year some zoned out girl rolled her beater Elantra 3 times. On a dry, straight, 4 lane road with a 45 mph limit. I'm no Angel and have a heavy foot myself. I've received my share of speeding tickets, lots of them when younger. Traffic enforcement in most locales has become a joke these days, jacking prices because someone has a higher income in as asinine as our stupid tax policy and non-existent immigration enforcement.
  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.