The UK bans new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040

New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government has announced.

Environment secretary Michael Gove announced plans for a 2040 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK.

The move is a hardening of the existing UK government “ambition” that all new cars be zero-emission by 2040.

It remains a hugely symbolic announcement that is seen as a milestone in the shift towards electric vehicles.

Several papers point to a similar recent commitment in France, which also plans to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

The UK government’s Committee on Climate Change has said that 100% of new sales should be zero-emission by 2035, as part of efforts to meet UK carbon targets.

Gove’s announcement is part of revised government air quality plans, which have been repeatedly ruled inadequate. Gove will also announce a limited diesel scrappage scheme to encourage owners to shift to cleaner vehicles.

Separately, BMW’s Cowley plant near Oxford will build the firm’s new fully electric Mini. A prototype electric mini was being tested back in 2011.

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