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Jim Reid takes a look at the recently announced ban on new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars

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Save the date…

On February 6 it was announced that the ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be brought forward five years to 2035 and would be extended to include the sale of new hybrid vehicles.

A week later the UK Government suggested they would like to bring this date forward yet again to 2032.

This decision resembled a day-dreaming teenager setting a date for her wedding 12 years in advance without knowing who she is marrying, who is coming along to the party and with no detail about who is helping to pay for it.

Like any great wedding, it’s all about the planning, great location and attention to detail.

However at the moment, it seems there is very little in the way of a plan, very few charging locations and absolutely no detail about how we achieve this.

So although the “save the date” cards are with the printer for some crucial final changes, the guest list has been drawn up to include all the manufacturers.

However it seems there has been a distinct lack of communication with manufacturers about the change of date or the change to include hybrids given the reaction from Ford UK which, along with many other car manufacturers, has heavily invested in hybrid technology.

So just like being jilted at the altar, many manufacturers feel as if they have been somewhat misled.

There are still so many unanswered questions about the detail.

We can only hope the policies that hold the detail will include incentives to encourage the public to make the move towards electric cars as I feel simply taking away the choice doesn’t work.

Electric vehicles (EV) have to become more available, affordable and the charging infrastructure has to become wider and much improved.

A huge improvement to the availability of professional, impartial advice about electric vehicles and a cut in the bureaucracy that’s attached to claiming the EV grants are two much-needed changes to ensure a happy relationship with electric cars for the future.

For clarity, the ban only applies to brand-new cars, therefore there is no immediate panic if you own a petrol, diesel or hybrid car.

As it stands you will not be breaking the law by selling or buying a used car after this date.

I encourage the UK Government to partner with the wider automotive industry at all levels so we can start planning to deliver on the promises made.

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