Automakers including Nissan, Toyota and Ford will breathe a sigh of relief, for now, after the British government signaled that it will likely allow full hybrids to be sold for another five years after a ban on sales of new cars with gasoline and diesel engines.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that the government will bring forward a ban on new gasoline and diesel cars and vans to 2030 from 2035. He said the ban would come into effect five years later, in 2035, for hybrid cars and vans "that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe."
This appeared to favor plug-in hybrids but not full-hybrid models, which cannot be plugged in to recharge the battery. This meant that full-hybrid cars built in the UK would be banned in 2030, not 2035. Toyota builds a full-hybrid Corolla in Burnaston, England, and Nissan will launch the Qashqai E-Power, produced in Sunderland, northeast England, next year.
On Thursday, the government's web site gave more details on the proposals that appeared to give a reprieve for full hybrids. "Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions (for example, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids), and this will be defined through consultation," the government said on its web site.
The government's Office of Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) did not respond to a request from Automotive News Europe to further clarify the rules.