UK Government bans sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2035…what does that mean for 4X4s?

ByIsaac BoberFebruary 7, 2020
UK Government bans sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2035…what does that mean for 4X4s?

The internal combustion engine is well and truly on its last legs following news the UK Government will ban the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2035.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has brought forward plans for the UK to ban the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2040 to 2035, suggesting the ban could be introduced earlier if deemed necessary. The Prime Minister made the announcement at the recent UN global climate summit in Scotland.

The decision to bring forward the ban has enraged manufacturers and motoring organisations around the world. But it wasn’t without warning. The ban has been brought forward by only five years, with France also planning to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles by 2040. Norway is hoping to begin phasing out the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2025. If you think other countries around the world and blocks like the EU won’t follow suit then, well, I’ve got some lovely harbour-side property I’d like to sell you…but we can only go see it at low tide.

Interesting to note the ban includes hybrid vehicles too – we’ve all been fed the line about how green hybrids are. They ain’t and never were. But while some of us are likely reading this news, looking out the window at our 4X4 and sighing we need to stop and think. Whatever your beliefs, it’s proven that our climate is changing and that we need to slow down our pollution. So, removing internal combustion engine vehicles is one way to help with this, but it’s not the total solution.

And nor are electric vehicles. What? And don’t get sucked in by the nonsense on the TV news at the moment that sales are through the roof. They’re not. Hybrid sales are strong, but these vehicles will be banned. Last year there were less than 3000 electric or PHEV vehicles sold in 2019 and PHEV vehicles all have internal combustion engines. So, hmmm.

For electric vehicles to take hold, more work will need to be done on, say, incentives (as they offer in other places around the world), infrastructure and much, much more work will need to be done on battery recycling. See, we only have about 18-years’ worth of lithium in the ground and currently, we can only recycle 20 per cent of lithium from batteries. Sure, we’ll get better at that but what I’m suggesting is that electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries aren’t the solution. Fuel cells might be but that’s a whole other can of worms I’m not going to get into right now, other than to say, Hyundai’s already got fuel cell vehicles running around here and Toyota’s trying to get the Mirai on the road here too.

Between now and then, there’s going to be an incredible acceleration of electric vehicle development as some sort of band aid. Take a look around and you’ll notice that every vehicle maker on the planet has electric vehicles it is trundling out at motor shows.

For those who like to get away from the bitumen, there are things like the Tesla Cybertruck that, I don’t care what anyone says, is easily the ugliest vehicle I’ve ever seen. Then there’s the Rivian R1T with its tank-turn ability and big pickup looks, there’s the electric F-150 that’s coming, the rebirth of the Hummer as an electric pickup, and many more besides. So, don’t despair, the death of the internal combustion engine won’t be all bad.

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