Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2040 as part of a plan to get them off the roads altogether 10 years later, according to the UK government, in a move that follows a similar announcement by the French government. David Doyle reports.
Pumping gas is set to become a thing of the past in the UK. That's under plans to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel fuelled cars by 2040 in a bid to clear up air pollution. SOUNDBITE (English), UK ENVIRONMENT MINISTER MICHAEL GOVE SAYING: "We have to get rid of petrol and diesel cars off our roads if we are going to make sure not only that we deal with the health problems that air pollution causes but also if we are to meet our climate change targets." The aim is to get petrol and diesel cars off Britain's roads altogether by 2050. It may be nearly 65 years since the Great Smog of London brought the British capital to a standstill but air pollution is still a major headache for the UK government. It's been under pressure to take measures to reduce air pollution after losing legal cases brought by campaign groups. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Putting this 2040 marker on it for not just diesel, which everyone sort of saw coming, but actually petrol engines as well, is quite a big move. It gives that guideline for the carmakers to think, well okay where do we need to put our investment? Now we very much know that electric is where the industry is headed." The move follows a similar announcement by the French government earlier this month - and companies have already been making the switch. German carmaker BMW said on Tuesday it had chosen its plant in the UK city of Oxford to produce an electric MINI from 2019. And earlier this month Volvo became the first traditional car manufacturer to set a date for phasing out vehicles solely powered by the internal combustion engine. From 2019, it said, all its newly launched cars will be electric or hybrids.