Motoring Not Ready For 2030 ICE Ban Says Industry Body

Wed 23rd Sep 2020

The proposed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 will heap additional pressure on a beleaguered industry say the Institute of the Motor Industry.

With the UK government seemingly ready to bow to pressure from environmental campaigners and the opposition political parties, the CEO of the IMI, Steve Nash has said that the current infrastructure and workforce is nowhere near ready for the change.

The UK is committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and had previously announced plans to ban the sale of fossil fuel engines by 2040, but over the last few months there have been indications that the date might be moved forward to 2035 and now campaigners are calling for it to be rushed into law even earlier. 

This week a group of major retailers, banks and energy firms under the auspices of The Climate Group called for the 2030 date. But Nash is questioning the reality of the moves.

“There is much speculation that the government is planning to move forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, with hybrids given a reprieve to 2035,” Nash said.  “I admire the confidence of those feeding this speculation – apparently there are assurances that the infrastructure will be ready by this date. But there is so much more to consider than simply the charging infrastructure.

“I worry that a much bigger piece of the jigsaw has been forgotten. What about the technicians to service and repair this new automotive technology which, in turn, will give motorists the essential confidence they need?

“Training of the existing workforce on these new drivetrains, as well as recruitment of the next generation of workers is vital.”

And with the UK industry already battered by Brexit uncertainty and COVID lockdown, Nash says the last thing the industry needs is additional pressure from the government.

“Against this backdrop, and with so much of the country waiting to hear if new restrictions may impact business income further, does it really make sense to heap the pressure on an already beleaguered sector.”