By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(LONDON) — The United Kingdom announced Wednesday it would ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by the year 2030, 10 years earlier than initially planned.
The sale of hybrid-electric vehicles, however, will be allowed until 2035.
The ambitious goal was unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson Wednesday as part of his “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” that he touted would create and support up to 250,000 jobs.
“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,” Johnson said in a statement. “My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.”
The prime minister said his plan will mobilize nearly $16 billion (£12 billion) in government investments to create and support these jobs. Of that, nearly $665 million (£500 million) over the next four years will go towards the development and production of electric vehicle batteries, which the government said would boost manufacturing and create jobs in the Midlands and North East regions of the country.
The government also pledged approximately $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charge points throughout Britain and more than $774 million (£582 million) in grants for those buying zero- or low-emission vehicles to incentivize the transition.
Environmental groups around the world welcomed the news, with Greenpeace UK calling it a “win” on Twitter.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a UK auto industry trade group, however, warned that this ambitious plan presents challenges for the industry.
“We share government’s ambition for leadership in decarbonizing road transport and are committed to the journey. Manufacturers have invested billions to deliver vehicles that are already helping thousands of drivers switch to zero, but this new deadline, fast-tracked by a decade, sets an immense challenge,” Mike Hawes, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.
Hawes noted that the government investment in EV manufacturing is welcomed by the industry, but is “just the start of what’s needed.”
“Success will depend on reassuring consumers that they can afford these new technologies, that they will deliver their mobility needs and, critically, that they can recharge as easily as they refuel,” Hawes added. He said they look forward to working with the government on details of the plan, “which must be delivered at pace to achieve a rapid transition that benefits all of society, and safeguards UK automotive manufacturing and jobs.”
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