Bringing forward the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles to 2030 could create more than 30,000 new jobs and give the economy a £4.2 billion boost, says Greenpeace.
The Government held a consultation on bringing forward the ban to 2035 or ‘earlier if a faster transition appears feasible’, and including hybrid vehicles for the first time, earlier this year and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the outcome soon, having delayed the announcement from September.
The report, which was written by Cambridge Econometrics and supported by Element Energy, uses the Department for Transport’s transport model and the E3ME model to assess the impact of a faster transition to electric vehicles on consumer spending, emissions, government revenues, the car industry and the economy as a whole.
It suggested thousands of new jobs would be created across a range of sectors directly linked to the rapid transition to electric vehicles (EVs) including energy, battery manufacturing and a mass roll out of charging infrastructure. However, the majority of new jobs would be created in the service industries, such as retail, entertainment and leisure.
The report also highlights that further substantial economic opportunities could arise from a 2030 ban, as the UK could be in a position to capture a larger share of both the domestic and European markets for electric cars and vans.
A number of organisations have expressed support for a 2030 ban, with Royal Mail the latest to join the UK Electric Fleets Coalition.
A poll on the Smart Transport website found that 2030 is the most popular option with almost half (49.3%) of respondents supporting that date, versus 27.8% supporting 2040, 13.4% choosing ‘other’ and 9.6% believing 2035 is the best date.
Growing consumer interest in electric vehicles
Online automotive marketplace CarGurus has said that “British motorists may well be ready for wider electrification after all, well ahead of an anticipated ban”, after its data showed more than 75% of consumer enquiries in EVs from the last 12 months occurred between July and September this year.
Its analysis found Greater London to be “the EV hotspot capital of the UK”, accounting for nearly 40% of EV enquiries.
The area around England’s capital had nearly four times as much interest in EVs than the East of England, which was the region with the next highest level of interest in EVs, while Scotland rounded off the top three.
Motorists in Northern Ireland might need some more convincing, coming last in the rankings for EV interest, well behind the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber in the bottom three.
Chris Knapman, editor at Car Gurus, said: "Banning the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 will certainly present a challenge to the car industry.
“But it is without doubt that consumer interest in electric vehicles is increasing, with CarGurus data around EV inventory and enquiries mirroring the dramatic rise in battery electric vehicle registrations.
"London is displaying the most interest in EVs by quite some way, which is most likely a result of electric cars being exempt from the Congestion Charge, as well as the sheer number of chargers available to use.
“Across the UK, the continued investment in infrastructure combined with the increasing numbers of electric cars arriving on the new and used markets mean we are almost certain to see more drivers making the switch.”