The sales ban of all new petrol and diesel cars is to be brought forward to 2030, the Prime Minister has said.
The ban on petrol and diesel models is now an entire decade ahead of the initial 2040 enforcement date first ushered by the government.
New hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars that can “drive a significant distance without emitting carbon” can continue to be sold until 2035, at which point they too will be banned.
Second-hand cars are unaffected by the ban.
It is part of what the prime minister calls a “green industrial revolution” to tackle climate change and create jobs.
Boris Johnson said: “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country.
“My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.
“Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future.”
To help facilitate electric vehicle (EV) switch, the government is investing £1.3 billion in EV chargepoints for homes, streets and motorways across England.
A further £582 million is being set aside for grants to help people into EVs and PHEVs.
Investment in battery development and mass production has also been secured in the shape of £500 million, while £525 million is earmarked for the nuclear power plants, partly to help meet the demand for electricity.
Electric car sales in the UK were below seven per cent of all new vehicles bought last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
There are between 13,000 and 20,000 technicians currently qualified to work on electric vehicles, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which means a requirement of between 50,000 and 57,000 technicians by 2030.
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI is calling on the government for urgent action to encourage automotive employers to re-ignite their EV training plans.
He said: “Currently around five per cent of UK automotive technicians are adequately trained to work on electric vehicles.
“How do you ramp up electric vehicle adoption if the myriad of users – from private motorists to fleets operating cars and vans, blue light vehicles and more – can’t be confident they will be able to access the expertise to service and repair these vehicles safely?
“And if the critical mass of skills doesn’t exist, the support infrastructure for zero emissions will be undermined too; insurers will keep premiums high if they can’t be confident they will be able to access a repair network that matches need.
“To achieve its goal, government has to recognise that amongst all of those calling for assistance in funding – from manufacturers to those creating the charging network – the basic fundamental of accredited skills needs to come near the front of the queue.
“Users of electrified vehicles want to know that they can hand over their vehicle to someone who has the right skills.
“Those who aren’t properly trained or equipped to work on electrified vehicles would be risking serious injury or fatality.”
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