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19 July 2018

Commenting on the announcement of the Department for Transport’s Road to Zero strategy, Gareth Redmond-King, WWF head of climate and energy said:

“While countries across the world raise ambition on electric vehicles and clean transport, the UK Government is aiming for just half of new car sales to be low-emission in 12 years. This shows a failure of climate leadership and ambition to clean up our air.

“To become a global leader in clean and smart transport, the UK needs to promise bigger and bolder action ahead of the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in September. A 2030 end date for petrol and diesel vehicles sales would send a strong signal, while supporting around 100,000 UK jobs in electric vehicle production.”

Notes to editors:

WWF has commissioned analysis on a 2030 phase-out from Vivid Economics which found that:

  • A 2030 phase out will get us closer to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, bridging roughly half of the gap to the UK’s legally binding 2030 carbon targets and taking 7 million petrol and diesel cars off the road.
  • Ending the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles a decade earlier is likely to attract new manufacturing investment into electric vehicles helping to add £3bn to the UK economy and create 14,000 jobs in the auto industry.
  • The social cost of UK air pollution will be slashed by around £300m in 2030, reflecting lower levels of disease, avoided healthcare costs and improved productivity.
  • Under a 2030 phase-out, the cost of charging an electric car could be under £100 a year by 2030, thanks to smart charging and vehicle to grid, compared to an annual petrol/diesel bill of around £800.