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Report says UK considering Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle ban

Autocar and FT report says government considering EV range requirements

Published: May 7, 2018, 2:30 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018, 4:16 AM

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

The British government has stated intentions to ban the sale of dedicated fossil fueled automobiles from the island’s roads by 2040, but now comes a report that it may also be considering banning hybrid vehicles that don’t have an electric-only range of at least 80.5 km (50 miles).

According to a report in Autocar and The Financial Times, the move is in keeping with the government’s Road to Zero emissions strategy unveiled last year, which reportedly was unclear about the future of electrification.

Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid

The report naturally has the UK car industry up in arms, which the government categorically denies the information, issuing a short statement saying, “The Road to Zero Strategy is yet to be finalised and has not been agreed by ministers."

If true, would impact nearly all plug-in hybrids currently on British roads, including the Toyota Prius (which gets just 48 km on electric power alone). Mind you, the industry has 20 years to adapt to new regulations.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has stated its concern over the news and the uncertainty of the auto industry.

“Unrealistic targets and misleading messaging on bans will only undermine our efforts to realise this future, confusing consumers and wreaking havoc on the new car market and the thousands of jobs it supports,” Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive told BBC News.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

He added that the industry is willing to work with the government toward the goal of zero emissions, and has invested billions of pounds in new technologies and products, but …

“We cannot support ambition levels which do not appreciate how industry, the consumer or the market operate and which are based neither on fact nor substance,” added Hawes. “Consumers need clear information about the right vehicles for their driving needs and it is again disappointing for both industry and consumers that vitally important information about government policy is being communicated by leaks.”