A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said.
A report by Parliament’s business select committee warned that the government’s current plans to ensure all new cars are “effectively zero emission” by 2040 were “vague and unambitious”.
It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the country’s electric vehicle infrastructure for not being fit for purpose.
The government said it aimed to make the UK “the best place in the world” to own an electric vehicle.
However, the report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee said the government’s deeds did not match the ambitions of its words.
“Government needs to get a grip”
The committee’s chairwoman, Rachel Reeves MP, said: “If we are serious about being EV (electric vehicle) world leaders, the government must come forward with a target of new sales of cars and vans to be zero emission by 2032.
“The government needs to get a grip and lead on coordinating the financial support and technical know-how necessary for local authorities to promote this infrastructure and help ensure that electric cars are an attractive option for consumers.”
However, Mike Hawes, head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said calls to shift to entirely electric-powered cars by 2032 were “unrealistic”.
He said: “Zero emission vehicles make up just 0.6 per cent of the market, meaning consumer appetite would have to grow by some 17,000 per cent in just over a decade.”
A spokesperson from the Department for Transport said: “We want between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of new car sales to be ultra low emission by 2030, and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.
“And we also outlined measures to bring forward a major uplift in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, paving the way for the widespread adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles.”
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