No petrol or diesel cars by 2030 is an ambitious target
The Independent|January 08, 2022
The motor industry trade body thinks it’s feasible but a lot more needs to be done to get there.
Chris Blackhurst

Last year was the second-worst year since 1992 for new car sales. So says the UK’s motor industry trade body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT. The reasons proffered for the dismal performance are the continuing impact of Covid and a shortage of semiconductors, which are used extensively in modern vehicle manufacturing.

Wait, there is good news: 2021 was the “most successful year in history” for electric vehicle uptake, as more new, battery-powered vehicles were registered “than over the previous five years combined”.

That’s impressive until you realise that electric cars and vans are a recent phenomenon, so the word “history” is stretching it more than a bit. As indeed is saying that a greater number were sold than over the previous five years put together – that is also hardly a surprise, since in 2016 there were barely any models available, and now every manufacturer, give or take, is producing electric.

Still, we get the gist: that electric vehicles, or EVs, are the coming force – they accounted for one in four sales in December, says the SMMT, and they’re growing rapidly in number. They need to, since the government has decreed that in 2030, which is less than eight years away, no new cars sold in Britain can be petrol or diesel, in accordance with the country’s “net zero” climate-change commitments.

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