How will the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles affect builders? Dan Powell from Honest John Vans answers your questions.
The UK has taken a historic leap on the journey to ending its contribution to climate change by saying it will ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has labelled the move as a “green industrial revolution” that will tackle climate change and boost jobs. Critics, however, are warning that there isn’t enough time or investment to make the switch to electric vehicles feasible.
I’m confused, I thought the petrol and diesel ban was due in 2040?
The Government has moved the goalposts several times on this subject. In 2017, for example, it said it would ban all new petrol and diesel sales in 2040. Then, in February of this year, it was announced that the ban was being moved forward to 2035. Now those targets have been moved again to 2030. Confused? You are probably not alone…
Will I still be able to drive my petrol or diesel van in 10-years-time?
Yes, you will still be able to drive your van. The new rules will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans. If you buy a diesel van in 2029, you’ll be allowed to drive it for the foreseeable future. However, that said, you may be charged a fee to travel across a major town or city.
Drivers of older, more polluting vans are already charged an extra £12.50 (on top of the Congestion Charge) to enter central London as part of the ULEZ scheme. From October 2021, the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) will be expanded up to the North and South Circular. That means any van that doesn’t meet the latest Euro6 emission standards will have to pay. We expect the number of clean air zones to grow over the next 10 years and it’s probably sensible to assume that owners of older vans will be asked to pay more.
Will the 2030 ban include hybrid vans?
No, hybrid vans are exempt from the ban until 2035. The Government says new vans can be sold if they can drive a “significant distance with zero emissions” (for example, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids), but it isn’t clear what the rules for these vehicles will be exactly.
Van manufacturers have already made huge strides in adding plug-in hybrid powertrains to their model line-ups. It’s probably safe to assume that vans like the Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid and the LEVC VN5 will be exempt from the blanket ban, but we’ll need to see the small print of the Government’s documentation (published in the next few months) to be sure.
I’m a builder who travels thousands of miles every year, will an electric van ever be suitable for me and my business?
We don’t have a crystal ball at Honest John Vans, but we are going to go out on a limb here and predict that electric vans will be the new normal by 2030. Van manufacturers are pouring hundreds of millions into electric vehicle development and vans are a key development area. Over the next few years the price of electric vans will come down and their maximum range will increase.
Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have already electrified their van line-ups. Vauxhall, Citroen and Peugeot have also launched new electric commercial vehicles. And just a few weeks ago Ford unveiled the E-Transit, with a 200+ mile range. Many of these vehicles can be fast-charged from zero to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes. The UK already has more than 20,000 public charging points for electric vehicles. By 2030, that number will be far, far greater.
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