The UK looks set to bring forward its ban on sales of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2040 to 2030. An announcement was planned for later this week, but will now be put back until later in the year, as the government focuses on tackling the new increase in Covid-19 infections. The 2030 ban is supported by the Committee on Climate Change, the government's advisory panel.
Fears have been raised about whether the National Grid, which manages the nation's electricity supplies, would cope with a massive increase in electric vehicles and the increased demand that charging these vehicles would create. The National Grid has estimated that and uptick of less than a third more energy than Great Britain's current demand of 300 terrawatt hours would be required to shift to electric vehicles for all road transport except heavy goods vehicles. This is something that could easily be coped with, according to senior officials at the National Grid.
Road transport is currently responsible for around 20% of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions, so shifting to all electric vehicles could have a really significant impact as the UK heads towards net zero carbon emissions. In August 2020, fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars combined accounted for 10% of new car sales, a significant increase compared to sales in August 2019.