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PRA comments on Government plan to bring car ban forward to 2035

PRA 04/02/2020

“The Government’s plan to bring forward the ban of petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles is ambitious, but does not have a basis in which to achieve it,” said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).

Today, plans have been unveiled to move the date when non-electric cars are banned from 2040 to 2035, with a possibility of the date being brought forward further.

The PRA believes that this would not be possible without significant investment into petrol forecourts to provide retrofitted charging infrastructure, which the Government has yet to address. This policy change is largely uncosted, and over reliant on driveway charging points which many drivers will not be able to access.

The Government is again ignoring the potential for hydrogen powered vehicles, which can be refuelled quicker than battery electric vehicles (BEV), have assured longer mileage range and can be more easily catered for within existing infrastructure at petrol filling stations, due to the use of liquid hydrogen transported being similar to petrol and diesel. Government should be technology neutral if they want to avoid leading consumers down the wrong track, similar to what has happened with diesel vehicles.

Madderson added, “Many of our members have already embraced low carbon systems, re-engineering their businesses toward roadside retail with improved car valeting and larger convenience and food-to-go facilities that cater for the slower refilling of electric cars. However, there are significant financial and technical hurdles that will need to be overcome to integrate electric vehicle charging into many of their forecourts.

“Until the issue of credible charging infrastructure is addressed this will impede the mass take up of electric vehicles.”

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.