There was welcome news for electric drivers and environmentalists last month: the government has announced that the UK will ban the sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040.
Why has the ban been announced?
The announcement is part of the government’s plans to tackle the country’s alarming nitrogen dioxide levels.
Britain has been exceeding the EU’s nitrogen dioxide limits since 2010. In March, a failure to address repeated breaches of air pollution limits led to the European Commissions sending a final warning to the UK. It was blatant that something had to be done.
Earlier in 2017, it was revealed that nearly 40 million people in the UK live in areas where there are illegal levels of air pollution. Exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide can increase the likelihood of respiratory problems because the irritant gas inflames the lining of the lungs.
With around 50 per cent of nitrogen oxide emissions coming from road traffic, and 80 per cent of this coming from diesel vehicles, it’s easy to see why a ban on these vehicles and a campaign to increase the uptake of electric and hybrid vehicles would be beneficial to the public’s health.
The air pollution levels are having an unnecessary impact on the general public’s health and the problem is avoidable. Questions have been asked of why it has taken the government so long to react to the clear problem.
What the announcement will achieve
Road users will still be able to drive petrol and diesel vehicles after 2040 and the ban on sales doesn’t come in for another 23 years. However, the plans show the decline of diesel vehicles and buyers will rightly be more and more cautious when considering buying this vehicle type.
The awareness of the damage that diesel vehicles, in particular, have on the environment is growing and swift in consumer buying will see a shift in the coming years. A report this month by Consumer Intelligence showed that 50 per cent of Britain’s drivers will consider an electric alternative when buying their next car.
A hybrid or electric vehicle already suits many people’s lifestyle. The advantages of making the change are lower running costs, better fuel economy, lower CO2 emissions, near-silent running and easy performance.
Electric and hybrid car rental
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If you’ve yet to try an electric or hybrid vehicle, renting can give you the perfect opportunity to do so before committing to a purchase. For more information about the range of vehicle available at the Green Motion branch nearest to you or a destination that you’re visiting, browse our online booking platform.