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U.K. Accelerates Planned ICE Phaseout to 2035

Prime Minister vows personal leadership but provides few details

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The U.K. is moving the planned phaseout date for sales of piston-powered vehicles (including hybrids) from 2040 to 2035​​​​​, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Tuesday.

Declaring that “urgent action” is needed to combat climate change, Johnson vowed to provide personal leadership in helping the U.K. meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050. But he didn’t provide any details about how the transition would be achieved or related government support programs.

Industry Concern

The country’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) association was quick to blast the vague announcement.

“A date without a plan will merely destroy value today,” warns SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.

Noting that EVs currently account for a small fraction of the U.K.’s sales, Hawes calls for safeguards to protect the domestic auto industry and its jobs. He also laments the U.K.’s “woefully inadequate” charging infrastructure.

There currently are 60 plug-in electrified vehicles available in the country with another 34 due to go into service later this year. Any new initiatives must be careful not to undermine sales of such vehicles, Hawes stresses.

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