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Britain Backs Away From Total Ban Of Conventional Cars

Financial Times

A plan for the UK to ban petrol, diesel and most hybrid cars by 2040 is set to be watered down, with ministers now referring to it as a “mission”.

Theresa May’s “Road to Zero Strategy”, designed to eliminate pollution from Britain’s roads, is due to be published on June 20, according to Whitehall officials — although it has been plagued by delays.

Michael Gove announced last July that the clean-air plan would see an outright ban on petrol, diesel and certain hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, which rely on traditional engines.

But Mr Gove has faced resistance from colleagues including Greg Clark, business secretary, concerned about the impact on the automotive industry.

Chris Grayling, transport secretary, has meanwhile “recused” himself from some of the discussions because Toyota has its head office in his constituency of Epsom and has regularly donated to the MP.

The wording of the government announcement last summer was that new diesel and petrol cars and vans “will be banned”.

The new, weaker language being considered by ministers suggests that the government’s “mission” is to put the UK at the forefront of design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles and to ensure the elimination of polluting cars from the streets by 2040.

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