By Ian Krietzberg
Nation & World Editor
Britain recently announced a more aggressive plan to combat the ever-increasing climate threat. The plan will grant the British government the power to ban petrol and diesel-fueled vehicles as early as 2032, according to The Guardian.
In a surprising new addition, this upcoming ban will also exclude hybrid vehicles, according to CNN.
“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a Global Britain is prouder to serve,” Prime Minister Borris Johnson said in a statement released on Feb. 4. “2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming — it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, greener future for all.”
But in the wake of Brexit and with an auto industry that is already struggling, the accelerated plan has already elicited concerns from the auto industry, including Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers.
“‘With current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment,’” Hawes said to CNN.
According to CNN, the sales of both electric and hybrid cars made up only 10 percent of the total car market in 2019 — the success of Britain’s new plan will require a complete upheaval of the current U.K. auto market.
Hawes went so far as to call on the U.K. to establish a more legitimate, comprehensive plan, saying that “‘a date without a plan will merely destroy value today,’” according to CNN.
European auto manufacturers are launching new waves of electric-only vehicles, with Volkswagen planning to sell 1 million electric cars by the end of 2023, according to The Guardian.
“’So now is the moment,’” Sir David Attenborough said to the BBC. “‘It is up to us to organise the nations of the world to do something about it.’”