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Published on March 16th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


BMW, Ford, Honda, JLR and McLaren Want To Keep Petrol Cars

They all lobbied against any petrol ban earlier than 2040.

Recent report from the UK newspaper ‘The Guardian’ shows that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a lobby group, claimed in private modelling that a 2030 ban would cause UK car sales to drop from 2.3m in 2025 to only about 800,000 in that year. 

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

The recently enforced combustion engine 2035 ban would reduce UK car sales to about 1.2m in that year, it claimed, compared with more than 2m if a 2040 deadline was allowed.

Range Rover Fifty special edition_highway

The BMW Group, which also owns Mini and Rolls-Royce factories in the UK, said there was ‘no scientific evidence to support such ambitious market uptake in the UK’ for the previous 2040 ban, let alone an earlier date. A BMW spokesman said the claim related to modelling of consumer demand for electric cars.


The government decision to bring forward the deadline was partly based on advice from scientists on the Committee on Climate Change, which argued a total ban which included for hybrids which was needed by 2032 for the UK to meet its de-carbonisation goals.

2022 MINI Cooper Convertible John Cooper Works (JCW) front in motion

The car manufacturers also argued that hybrids should also be exempted from the earlier deadline, alongside ambulances and hearses.

Based on guidance from the Committee on Climate Change, the government revealed its decision in November, which saw the ban on pure internal combustion engine cars (ICE) brought forward from 2040 to 2030 with the sale of hybrids permitted until 2035.

Supported by findings from environmental campaigners, the decision to advance the ban was deemed necessary if the UK is to meet its de-carbonisation goals.

BHP_Euro5 Diesel_2021

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said the new deadline left the industry with less than nine years to convince consumers to switch to electric vehicles. “Our concern is that until the cost and convenience of purchasing, running and charging an electric vehicle is as affordable and convenient as a conventional petrol or diesel one across all segments and for all types of drivers, some drivers will hold on to their trusted existing car,” he said.

A government spokesperson said it was giving significant financial support to help the car industry’s transition to electric. “Bringing forward the phase-out date for all new cars and vans will put us on course to be the fastest in the G7 to do so, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 4m fewer cars on the road each year out to 2050.”

Ford Mustang Mach-E launch

The UK is not the only country with this combustion engine ban. Most large European cities, some American states like California and even Japan have already put in place their dates when only electric vehicles will be sold and also allowed into major city centers. 

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