Hybrid cars escape the 2040 ban

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The Road to Zero strategy ‘does not speculate on which technologies might help to deliver the Government’s 2040 mission’, the department said.

‘The Government has no plan to ban any particular technology – like hybrids – as part of this strategy’.

An ambition for at least half of new car sales to be ultra-low emission by 2030 was set out in the strategy.

The proposals could see a massive expansion of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, including the installation of hundreds of thousands more charge points.

Under the plans, new homes and offices may be required to install charge points as standard.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘The coming decades are going to be transformative for our motor industry, our national infrastructure and the way we travel.

‘We expect to see more change in the transport sector over the next ten years than we have in the previous century.

‘We are expecting our economy and society to experience profound change, which is why we have marked the Future of Mobility as one of the four Grand Challenges as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.

‘The Road to Zero strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution, ensuring that the UK has cleaner air, a better environment and a stronger economy.’

The Campaign for Better Transport described the plans as a ‘major disappointment’ and ‘a step backwards’.

The group’s sustainable transport campaigner, Bridget Fox, said: ‘Overall this strategy is a step backwards, giving concessions to keeping hybrids on the road which will water down the already inadequate 2040 target.

‘The confusion over the future of hybrids combined with the lack of clear transitional arrangements means industry and consumers still lack the certainty needed to kick-start the switch to electric.’

AA president Edmund King said: ‘We are pleased that the Government has stood by the 2040 target for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emissions.

‘It is not helpful, as we found with diesel, to continually shift the goalposts.

‘We all want cleaner vehicles as soon as possible but structured targets help consumers, councils and car companies to work towards those targets together and that is in everyone’s interest.’

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