The British Government is set to publish its plan to ban petrol- and diesel-fuelled vehicles by 2040 in a bid to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide emissions.
“The publication follows months of consultations on how to reduce the impact of diesel vehicles, and accelerate the move to cleaner transport,’’ the government said in a statement on Wednesday.
Britain’s High Court ordered the government to produce a plan following a legal challenge by environmental groups.
“The government will also announce plans to spend some three billion pounds (3.9 billion dollars) on improving air quality, including 255 million pounds for local authorities to tackle diesel emissions,’’ the BBC and other media reported.
Ahead of the plan’s publication, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which represents Britain’s automotive industry, urged the government not to impose a complete ban on diesel engines.
According to Mike Hawes, the group’s Chief Executive, demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level presently, as consumers have concerns over affordability, range and charging points.
“Outright bans risk undermining the present market for new cars and our sector, which supports more than 800,000 jobs across the UK.
“So, the industry instead wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars.
“We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust,’’ Hawes said.
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron published a similar plan to phase out diesel and petrol cars by 2040. (dpa/NAN)