It’s been nearly a year since the United Kingdom announced plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles starting in 2040. Now, the country’s government has finally released a detailed plan which answers a number of lingering questions.
One of the most important answers is that hybrid vehicles will not be subject to the ban. Instead, the ban will only apply to “conventional petrol and diesel” vehicles and not hybrid or plug-in hybrid models which use an internal combustion engine.
The question whether or not hybrid models would be subject to the ban was a matter of intense speculation and the government took pains to stress the Road to Zero strategy is “technology neutral.” The government went on to say it doesn’t have any plans to “ban any particular technology – like hybrids – as part of this strategy.”
While hybrid models won’t be subject to the ban, the Road to Zero plan is primarily focused on increasing the number of electric vehicles in the country. As a result, it includes a “number of ambitious measures” including the launch of a £400 ($530) million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to help accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure and a £40 ($53) million program to “develop and trial innovative, low cost wireless and on-street charging technology.”
Charging while traveling is only part of the solution and the plans aims to have chargers installed in newly built homes. Existing homes aren’t out of luck either as the strategy calls for providing electric vehicle owners with up to £500 ($662) to install a charger in their home through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.
The plan also calls for new street lights to include charging points. The government says this has the potential to provide a “massive expansion” of the charging infrastructure in the country.
In a statement, the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, said “The coming decades are going to be transformative for our motor industry, our national infrastructure and the way we travel.” He added, “We expect to see more change in the transport sector over the next 10 years than we have in the previous century.”