UK might ban sales of fossil fuel cars as early as 2030

Jon Fingas
·Associate Editor

The UK might soon move up its ban on sales of combustion engine cars — yes, again. The Financial Times and the BBC both claim Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a ban on fossil fuel car sales by 2030, five years ahead of the most recent target, and a full decade sooner than initially planned. Hybrid sales would continue until 2035, but pure gas (petrol) and diesel vehicles would quickly vanish from dealerships.

The accelerated timeline is reportedly meant to spur the market for electric cars and help get the UK closer to its climate targets. To help, the government is reportedly poised to spend £500 million (about $660 million) on building EV charging infrastructure in the country.

An announcement could come as soon as next week. There is a chance that Johnson could announce a more accommodating 2032 cutoff, but he’s believed to be “leaning” in favor of 2030.

Automakers might not be happy. Honda and Toyota have balked at earlier discussions of moving to an all-EV future. Honda argued that banning even hybrids would be too limiting, while Toyota warned it might rethink its investments in the UK if there’s a hybrid ban. A slightly delayed hybrid ban might ease the transition, but companies wouldn’t have much breathing room.