The five-year delay in banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars is a major victory for the Mail’s Rethink The 2030 Petrol Car Ban campaign.
The ban will come into force from 2035 and Rishi Sunak highlighted that the second-hand petrol and diesel market will still be allowed to flourish.
The decision – bringing the UK into line with EU deadlines – was welcomed by some carmakers, driver groups and small businesses.
There was a positive reaction from Jaguar Land Rover, which employs 30,000 people at its UK plants and has committed £15bn over the next five years to produce electric vehicles.
It said: “The Government’s announcement of the revised end date for the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK is pragmatic and aligns the UK with other nations, which we welcome.”
There was a positive reaction from Jaguar Land Rover, which employs 30,000 people at its UK plants and has committed £15bn over the next five years to produce electric vehicles. Pictured: Rishi Sunak shakes hands with staff during a visit to Jaguar Land Rover in Warwickshire.
Toyota, which has plants in Burnaston, Derbyshire and Deeside, north Wales, followed Jaguar Land Rover in taking this “pragmatic measure”.
Toyota, which has plants in Burnaston, Derbyshire and Deeside, north Wales, followed Jaguar Land Rover in taking the “pragmatic step”, saying the announcement gives the industry the “clarity” it has been asking for.
FairFuelUK, the drivers’ campaign group, also welcomed the delay. Founder Howard Cox said: “I am delighted that common sense has prevailed and that the Prime Minister has listened to the overwhelming majority of people, FairFuelUK and the Mail.”
“Sunak’s recognition that the 2030 ban would be detrimental to the economy and his voters and would have a negligible impact on saving the planet is very pragmatic and welcome indeed.”
Tina McKenzie, from the Federation of Small Businesses, said while some businesses would be disappointed, there was some relief for smaller ones. “There is a lot of concern among small businesses about the availability of suitable vehicles, whether new or second-hand,” she said. “Charging infrastructure is also not where it needs to be to ensure no business is left behind.”
But some manufacturers argued that the delay has created uncertainty about their electric vehicle ambitions. Lisa Brankin, Ford chairman, said: ‘Our business needs three things from the UK Government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation until 2030 would undermine all three.’
Ford has already invested £430m in preparing its UK plants to produce electric cars.
Ian Plummer, a former Renault and Volkswagen executive and commercial director of online marketplace AutoTrader, said: “This U-turn will cause a huge headache for manufacturers, who are clamoring for clarity and consistency. And it is hardly going to cheer up the vast majority. ‘most drivers who have not yet purchased an electric car will make the switch.’
Mike Hawes, of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the rollback was “incredibly confusing” for consumers.
The Daily Mail began campaigning to rethink the 2030 ban after the cost of insuring an electric car rose by 60 per cent this year and charges rose by 20 per cent at some on-street connectors. There is also wider concern that Britain does not have adequate charging infrastructure.