The transition to electric cars is fraught with pitfalls and also causes inconveniences. In the United Kingdom, the pressure was obviously too strong and the government was pushing back the ban on the sale of new thermal cars by five years – i.e. in 2035. And, obviously, this decision does not please everyone.
Except that we learned today that this deadline is already being re-discussed in order to “facilitate the transition and give consumers and the charging infrastructure more time to adopt this important change”, declared the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
The ban on the sale of thermal engine cars across the Channel will now only come into force in 2035, five years later than planned. The schedule therefore matches that of the European Union. Rishi Sunak therefore wants to give himself time to strengthen his own automobile industry in order to “not become dependent on electric vehicles imported from China and which are heavily subsidized”.
In the current context, this statement also sounds a bit like an alignment with the recent exit of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and for whom “the world market is flooded with cheap Chinese cars”, largely subsidized by Beijing.
Rishi Sunak’s plan to extend the deadline to 2035, however, is not well received in all circles. Some have criticized the fact that by doing so, the United Kingdom will not achieve its “carbon” objectives in all sectors of the economy by 2050.
The Prime Minister contradicted this claim by stating that “by acting in this way, the country better aligns its approach with that of other nations, such as Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada or certain American states such as California, New York or Massachusetts. Plus, we will stay ahead of the rest of America and countries like New Zealand.”
The automotive industry is also not happy with this additional delay, as brands such as Ford, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Stellantis have already made significant investments in electric vehicle production in the UK to precisely stick by this deadline of 2030.
Ford has already made it known that it is not in phase with this change of direction. “We need three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency. A relaxation of the 2030 deadline compromises all three elements. In addition, a targeted policy is necessary in these times of crisis,” said a spokesperson for the manufacturer.
This article is originally published on gocar.be