Car firm Toyota has said it is already looking to change its infrastructure ahead of the proposed government scheme which will see drivers unable to buy petrol or diesel cars from 2040 onwards.
The Japanese firm has a massive industrial influence in Derbyshire with a factory in Burnaston and have reacted to claims that a crackdown on air pollution caused by cars is about to be announced.
Air pollution has been linked to around 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK and environment secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce the ban on cars running on petrol or diesel being sold in the future.
Drivers instead will have to turn to electric and hybridised cars to get themselves from one place to another.
Toyota has released a statement through Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Mr Hawes explained that the car industry is already well aware of the government’s plans and is already looking to change their infrastructure.
He said: “The UK government’s ambition for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040 is already known.
"Industry is working with government to ensure that the right consumer incentives, policies and infrastructure is in place to drive growth in the still very early market for ultra-low emission vehicles, ULEVs in the UK.
“However, much depends on the cost of these new technologies and how willing consumers are to adopt battery, plug in hybrid and hydrogen cars. Current demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but is still at a very low level as consumers have concerns over affordability, range and charging points.
Mr Hawes said that the car business could be undermined if the industry is not given time to adjust to the proposed changes.
“Outright bans risk undermining the current market for new cars and our sector which supports more than 800,000 jobs across the UK so the industry instead wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars,” Mr Hawes continued.
“We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust.”
Government plans are expected to be submitted tomorrow Thursday, July 27, and could see councils receive a £255 million fund to change their buses, road layouts and speed bumps to suit the potential new ruling.
If the plans should fail, councils could be handed the power to impose increased taxes on vehicles emitting the most pollution by as soon as 2020.
Calls for these plans came about after environmental law firm ClientEarth took the government to the High Court before the 2017 general election.
ClientEarth chief executive James Thornton told sister title, the Mirror that he believes that although the government has proposed some good plans, further clarification is needed.
Mr Thornton said: “The government has trumpeted some promising measures with its air quality plans, but we need to see the detail.
“A clear policy to move people towards cleaner vehicles by banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans after 2040 is welcome, as is more funding for local authorities.
“However, the law says ministers must bring down illegal levels of air pollution as soon as possible, so any measures announced in this plan must be focused on doing that.”
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The government was given until Monday, July 31 to submit its plans. Plans are also under way to hold a consultation in the autumn to look at setting up a consultation on another car scrappage scheme.
The proposed scheme would see existing diesel car owners compensated for choosing to switch to electric.
A government spokesman said that the change in law comes as part of a £3 billion programme.
The government wants to help councils across the country reduce their emissions by identifying hotspots where diesel and petrol cars are regularly used the most.
The spokesman said: “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible.
“That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3 billion programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.
“Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots – often a single road – through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people.
“Diesel drivers are not to blame and, to help them switch to cleaner vehicles, the Government will consult on a targeted scrappage scheme, one of a number of measures to support motorists affected by local plans.”
Electric cars fact file
Electric cars can be something of a mystery to many people who have spent their driving life behind the wheel of a familiar diesel or petrol car.
If government plans do go ahead and cars with certain engines are banned from being bought from 2040, many people may be thinking about investing in an electric or hybridised car soon.
Buyers will be faced with strange-looking charging pads, seemingly higher prices and confusion about where to buy them, so we have created a short fact file, answering your questions about electric cars.
Where can I buy an electric car?
Many car garages and dealerships now stock electric vehicles and those in Burton and across South Derbyshire are no different.
Hilton Garage, on The Mease in Hilton, Arnold Clark, on James Brindley Way in Burton, and Toyota Inchcape on Moor Street are among the many showrooms which sell electric and hybridised cars.
Alternatively online website, AutoTrader has a whole list of electric-powered vehicles available.
Do electric cars cost more than others?
Initially, an electric car will cost you a lot more to buy than a petrol or diesel.
In the long run the cost of charging an electric car is far lower than topping up the tank of a petrol or diesel car, so eventually the outlay will even itself out.
How do I charge an electric car?
The idea that electric cars need big and dramatic charging stations to keep them on the go is completely wrong.
You can charge an electric car by plugging it into a normal, household 13amp power supply, the same that you might plug your vacuum cleaner or television into.
There are four different charging types which can be used on a vehicle. Slow is best suited for charging overnight, and takes between six and eight hours to fully charge.
Fast can be used to fully restore some models of electric cars in three hours and rapid AC and DC chargers can give an 80 per cent charge in around 30 minutes.
Most electric car users charge their vehicle at home, but there are charging spaces littered across the country to give you a quick top-up when out and about.