IHS Markit, Principle Automotive Analyst, Ian Fletcher says UK planned ban of sales of gas/diesel-engine vehicles by 2040 lacks detail.
The plan follows in the footsteps of a recent consultation in to air quality improvements following an earlier plan being ruled as inadequate by the UK courts. However, this is very much the early steps in a wide ranging programme of measures that are set to be brought in by the UK government to improve air quality on top of those which it already had on its agenda, including GBP1 billion in support for ULEVs. As well as developing those mentioned above, the UK government has said that in the autumn the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will introduce its Clean Growth Plan, while a wider Clean Air Strategy setting out how the country will meet its international commitments to significantly reduce emissions of five damaging air pollutants by 2020 and 2030, will be introduced in 2018.
From an automotive perspective, the UK government has also stated that it plans to publish a further strategy towards zero emission transport for all road vehicles, which will be published by March 2018. It looks likely that this will attempt to set out a pathway towards achieving the government's recently restated goal of "ending the sale of all conventional petrol [gasoline] and diesel cars" by 2040. Like a similar statement made by the French government less than three weeks ago, this has been heavily reported in the media, but currently lacks much in the way of substance. The words that have been used by the UK government are also very much open to interpretation. While the use of "conventional car and van" suggests the end of the sale of traditional, gasoline and diesel engine vehicles, this leaves the way open for electrification on a number of levels, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and possibly even mild hybrids. As Florian Eichinger, IHS Markit principal analyst within the EMEA Powertrain team points out, "the cessation of purely diesel or gasoline combustion registrations by 2040 in the UK, seems entirely consistent with the trajectory of our current baseline forecast, and indeed true for the EU28 as a whole." As it stands now, there is much more in terms of clarification that is required before we can revise our assessment of the situation.