Electric Vehicles: Transition

UK Petrol and Diesel Car Phase-out

The UK will transition away from the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, and vans by 2030. Low emissions hybrids will be phased out by 2035. Find out what this means for you, and how much you could save by switching to electric.

 
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Petrol and Diesel Phase-out: Explained

What is the petrol and diesel sales phase-out?

From 2030, it will no longer be possible to buy a new petrol or diesel car. The sale of new low emission hybrids will be phased out by 2035. The transition had already begun, and will accelerate over the next 10 years.

What cars will be affected?

The initiative is designed to put Britain at the forefront of electric drive technology. This means that the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans will be gradually phased out during the next decade. You’ll still be able to buy second-hand petrol and diesel cars after 2030, and you won’t need to change or scrap your car.


Why is the government introducing the phase-out?

The new rules on sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans will save motorists money, cut carbon emissions in line with the government’s commitment to net zero, and fulfil a key pledge from the 2019 Conservative manifesto. UK motorists will save £5 billion a year and benefit from improved air quality, and a stronger economy

Charging & Range

Is range a problem for electric cars?

New electric cars can typically go 150-250 miles on a single charge. Since the average car journey in England is just 8.7 miles, even cars with a short range are good enough for the vast majority of journeys. Charging a car on the motorway can be done is as little as half an hour for an 80% charge (the length of a short break).

Where will everyone charge their cars?

Two thirds of homes in England have off-street parking, which is where most drivers charge their cars. A government grant is available to cover most of the cost (up to £350) to buy and install a home charger. The government is giving councils 20 million pounds to install street chargers in areas without driveways.

Will there be enough public charging points?

There are currently 20,000 publicly available charge points in the UK, including over 3,000 rapid charge points. On a UK motorway, you are never more than 25 miles from a rapid charger, with more chargers being installed. Workplaces, businesses and public car parks are also installing charge points, with one public charger per electric car currently available.

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Costs and Affordability

Are electric cars affordable?

In many cases they are already affordable when the total cost of ownership is considered. There are several incentives for going electric:

  • A grant of up to £3,000 to buy new qualifying cars

  • No road tax. 

  • No congestion charge or ULEZ charge.

  • Often cheaper residents’ parking.

  • No benefit-in-kind tax (if it is a company car). 

What effect will charging an electric car have on fuel bills?

Switching to an electric car will save drivers money on fuel bills. While electricity consumption will increase, the cost savings from no longer buying petrol and diesel will more than offset any rise in electricity costs. 

How much will the ban cost the economy and taxpayers?

The switch to electric vehicles will incur net savings. The Committee on Climate Change estimates that reducing transportation emissions in line with net zero emissions will save £5 billion a year.

Energy & Environment

Will the grid cope with all the extra demand for electricity?

The companies who are responsible for cables and overhead lines have been preparing for the mass adoption of electric cars since 2012. The National Grid has been clear that there is enough capacity to meet future demand. Since July 2019 all new home chargers are required to be ‘smart’ to be eligible for a government grant, which will allow electric cars to charge when electricity is cheaper due to lower demand. 

Do electric vehicles reduce emissions? 

Electric cars are better for climate - even when the source of electricity is considered. When lifecycle emissions are considered, electric cars have significantly reduced emissions when compared to traditional cars. These numbers include the manufacturing of the car, how electricity is generated, and environmental impact during the cars’ operation. This is largely due to the progress has been made in the last decade in making the UK’s grid more environmentally friendly.

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How is the government supporting the installation of more charging points?

The government has committed £500 million to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Funding is available in the form of grants: for councils to put chargers in residential areas, for those with driveways to install a charge point at home, and for businesses to put them in workplace car parks.

Find your nearest charge point!

There are over 20,000 public charge points in the UK - so one might be closer than you think. Check out our charger map or head to ZapMap to find one near you!

Glossary

There’s a whole lot of lingo and letters associated with electric cars. We explain some of the most commonly used terms.