In a bid to fight pollution and reduce nitrogen oxide (NO2) emissions, the government of United Kingdom has announced that it will ban the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. The government will be releasing funds worth £255m to help councils tackle pollution and ramp up infrastructure to promote the us of electric vehicle in the country. In an interview to Telegraph UK, Michael Gove the Environment Secretary, said that "can't carry on" with petrol and diesel cars because of the damage that they are doing to people's health and environment. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology," he added.
However, the automobile association of United Kingdom has warned that the National Grid will not be able to provide enough electricity to everyone to charge their vehicles and many still believe that electric cars are too expensive and less practical for longer commutes. As per a report published by National Grid (UK), this move to have only EVs running in the country could rise the peak demand for electricity by over 50%. The extra power needed will be equal to about ten times of the total power output of the Hinckley Point C Nuclear power station being constructed in Somerset, reported The Telegraph UK.
Electric Vehicles contribute to only 4% of new car sales in UK as customers demand more and better charging infrastructure for the new generation cars. However, this move will encourage people to switch to EVs.
Many other European countries like France, Norway and Germany will soon start phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles. At the Paris Climate Accord, French President Emmanuel Macron’s government had announced a similar strategy to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from France by 2040 and focus on electrification. Norway has the highest penetration for electric cars in the world, has set a target to allow the sale of only EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025. Germany is planning to get rid of combustion engine operated vehicles. Oliver Wittke, a transport expert in Merkel's CDU, told a German radio channel "We need to start getting rid of combustion technology in the short-term,".
The future clearly belongs to electric vehicles, for emerging countries like India its important to take a decision first and then work backwards to provide clear policies to automakers and not change them frequently. Automakers in India can adapt to these changes easily provided a clear vision is set towards electrification. Frequent policy changes can disrupt the flow of meeting the mutual goal of reducing pollution as these would require some huge investments in providing both vehicles and infrastructure.