Industry reacts to petrol and diesel ban

Trade groups, garage owners and technicians have their say on plans to ban all petrol and diesel sales by 2040

Industry reacts to petrol and diesel ban
Sales of new petrol and diesel powered cars will cease by 2040 but with electric cars currently accounting for less than one per cent of new sales, the switch will bring significant change.

The government has confirmed that it will end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, as it unveiled new plans to tackle air pollution.

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said the move is part of a plan to replace the traditional combustion engine in cars and vans with cleaner electric or hybrid alternatives.

The news, which was announced last week in a policy paper to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations, will see a fundamental change for the motor industry and has given rise to a host questions and concerns.

‘Time to adjust’

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Much depends on the cost of these new technologies and how willing consumers are to adopt battery, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars.

“Currently demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level as consumer have concern over affordability, range and charging points.

“We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust.”

A number of vehicle technicians took to Facebook to voice their concerns, with many questioning the future for independent garages.

Future for independents

Richard Walford asked: “What happens to my job when everything is running on electric motors, do I have to retrain as an electrician will we get an electrician’s wage?

“What happens to all the smaller garages that can’t keep up with all the new tools and diagnostic software?

“I could ramble on forever about how important the internal combustion engine is but I’m not going to.

“Take a step back and just think about what is rapidly and quite scarily becoming a harsh reality.”

Technological advances

Dave Ovendenon said: “Remember when solar panels were only powerful enough to write ‘8008135’ as many times as you wanted on a calculator?

“They charge battery banks in motor homes quickly and efficiently now.

“In 20 years they’ll be built into the roof of every electric car and be even better.

“If you keep up with the game imagine how much easier and cleaner the job is going to be.

“I’m just gutted the majority of us won’t actually see this happen.”

Brian Jollands said: “Hybrid vehicles use a small petrol generator to top the battery up, they still have wheels and brakes and a steering system, so our jobs won’t become redundant and internal combustion engines would still be produced.”

By 2040, car makers will have produced three generations of their vehicles and with technological innovation within the industry occurring at an unprecedented pace, is it really that much of a surprise announcement? Join the debate and share your comments below.


  1. This is just one issue. As independants we will need to get to grips with so much technology. Bring it on

  2. My biggest concern is the DIY`rs of this country who like to see if they can save themselves some money , imagine them playing playing with all that electricity ! or worse still what happens if someone drives into a flooded road , all that power has to go somewhere !

  3. ships and aircraft are far more polluting, are they going electric???

  4. It’s OK all these electric cars but where is all the electricity going to come from to charge them ?
    Going to be interesting to see what happens when thousands of cars plug in and then the kettle goes on…..welcome the dark age

    • Couldn’t agree more, we don’t have enough power generation at the moment let alone ALL demanding power bearing in mind how long it takes the government to decide one one power station!! It will come but I think 2040 is too short for the way we make descisions and where will the government get tax next to replace this enormous tax lost

  5. Check out insurance. A friend has just bought a Zoe after doing ‘extensive research’ only to discover it cost £4k to insure!! They are both over 40 with clean licences.

  6. First of all electric won’t work. Imagine 30 million vehicles with limited range, extremely long charge time (30 mins is no use for most people, never mind a full charge) country will grind to a stop. Second is depletion of batteries, a life of 6 to 8 years at a cost of 6000 to 15000 euro, resulting in next to zero 2nd hand value. Already we have hybrid vehicles in our workshop with failed batteries, not fatal as engine can compensate to some extent. I won’t buy a battery car 4 years old knowing I may have battery replacement bill in 2+ years maybe a bit longer. Cannot drive battery car hard, tow trailer etc. or battery discharges rapid. Hybrid is a better option although you still have issue with battery replacement, new 48 volt hybrids may work as cheaper batteries to replace. Customers with plug in hybrids, plugged in for first few weeks after buying car, got fed up then filled and drove as a regular car. Stupid laws made by politions who know nothing about reality on the ground.

    • PS Not to mention massive job losses in repair, parts, fuel supply etc, the notion jobs will move to environmental sector is nonsense

  7. We’ve all adapted to changes in technology ever since we started work, even if that start was only ten years ago. The people/businesses that couldn’t have gone. As an example I had a competitor very nearby and when I bought my first scantool (around 23 years ago now) he sneered at it. Ten years later he did a runner leaving debts everywhere but no nobody would contemplate being in business without that sort of tooling and knowledge. So I’m sure we will all cope with this.
    At the end of the day even without government intervention it was coming anyway, all they’ve done is put a date to it. Also don’t forget hybrids have internal combustion engines and “normal” cars are going to be on the market up until 2040 which means we will still be seeing them commonly till around 2070 so even if you start work in a garage tomorrow you’ll see a lot of changes (which has always been the way) but I doubt if you’ll see the end of conventional cars.


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