Following in the footsteps from their neighbours across the Channel, UK has decided to ban the sales of diesel and petrol vehicles in the country by 2040. This comes as a reaction to the rising furore amongst the masses over the inaction of the government in battling pollution.
While details about the complete plan are expected to be revealed by the government on Wednesday, the comprehensive package is expected to lay down over GBP 3 Billion in total aids and development plans. The plan is also likely to allocate GBP 255 Million to local councils to help them retrofit buses, redesign junctions and optimize traffic signals.
The country will be ear-marking GBP 1 Billion for investing in low emission cars. Another GBP 100 Million is expected to go into developing the charging infrastructure across the country. Previously, it was being believed that the government will also follow London in introducing a daily fine for older vehicles entering the city. However, this norm is unlikely to make it to the final draft as it could receive strong backlash from motorists.
Other potential promises include GBP 290 Million for low-emission taxis and retrofitting of vehicles through the National Productivity Investment Fund and a massive GBP 1.2 Billion to promote cycling and walking, a green bus fund and air quality grants for councils.
A report from The Guardian suggested that in the UK alone, pollution was responsible for over 40,000 deaths annually. The new report will put the onus on the council-members to act on pollution and present innovative ideas on tackling the menace.
There is still no clarity on whether incentives for scrapping old diesel cars be introduced alongside the rest of the plan. However, sceptics are already running bezerk for they are concerned about the added implication this would mean on the electricity grid of the country.
Estimates suggest that presently, Britain produces slightly more electricity than it uses and to cope up with the added stress of electric vehicles, 10 nuclear power plants equivalent to the country’s latest units will need to be added by 2040. Some companies are hopeful that the government may allow hybrid vehicles to be sold post the deadline as well.
The UK joins the likes of France, the Netherlands and Germany in revealing similar plans to curb pollution. Car manufacturers like Volvo have also said that all the vehicles rolling off their assembly lines from 2019 onwards will have electric motors installed in them.