The news that the government planned to scrap new diesel and petrol cars by the year 2040 came as a major shock to UK drivers. However, for Scottish drivers this change could come sooner than they think.
The Scottish government has revealed its plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 – a staggering 8 years before the rest of the UK. So, what does this mean for drivers and what do you need to know about the upcoming changes?
Petrol and diesel cars will no longer be exclusive
The new plans announced by the government to phase out new petrol and diesel cars has caused a lot of confusion for drivers. Initially, there was panic that once the year 2040 arrives, diesel and petrol cars won’t be available at all. However, what the plans actually mean is that petrol and diesel models will still be available, they just won’t be exclusive.
This is because in a bid to tackle climate change, the government hopes to encourage more drivers to opt for electric powered vehicles instead. At the moment hybrids are available, but they’re certainly not as popular as they could be.
SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon has admitted the plans to phase out diesel and petrol engines by 2032 is an ambitious target. However, work to phase them out has already begun. The year 2032 also signifies the end of the current Climate Change Plan which is incidentally why the Scottish government reduced the length of the phase-out plan.
Major auto manufacturers have already introduced diesel scrappage schemes to help eliminate the highest-pollutant vehicles from UK roads. They’re giving drivers anything from £2000 to £7000 off the cost of a new vehicle via the scheme.
So, the main thing to remember is petrol and diesel engines will still be available. However, drivers should opt for more economical models, especially if they’re buying a large vehicle such as one suitable for drivers with disabilities. Companies like Allied Fleet Limited, will still sell energy efficient diesel-powered vehicles.
Problems with electric vehicles will need to be addressed
The main concern at the moment from drivers is the lack of charging ports for electric-based vehicles. There are very few charging stations available and that is something the Scottish government have claimed they are now working on.
The batteries will also need to be improved. Early electric models have pretty large batteries which are slow to charge and their safety still needs to be improved. So, manufacturers are going to need to work hard to develop new, safer, more reliable and lighter batteries.
Overall, the planned changes could be beneficial to both the environment and UK drivers. However, work does need to be done to improve electric powered vehicles before they can be considered as a mainstream option.