GOVERNMENT ministers backtrack on the 2040 ban of petrol and diesel cars stating that the internal combustion engine could have a place in the UK in future.
The ban on petrol and diesel cars has come under scrutiny for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the plan has been criticised for lacking ambition with many groups, including Richard Branson, calling for the ban to be moved forward to as early as 2025.
Fresh doubts have been cast over the ban after Government admitted that certain types of petrol and diesel cars could be sold beyond 2040, reports The Times.
Business minister, Richard Harrington, said that ultra clean combustion engines could be manufactured to meet the emissions emulations that will be phased out by the 2040 target.
These comments were made during an inquiry by MPs over the Government’s policy on electric cars.
Proposals to reduce the amount of air pollution were launched last year with the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 being the biggest points.
The Government is also looking into developing a strategy to improve the infrastructure for electric cars and help to achieve zero emissions fleet.
One of the issues with the 2040 ban hinges on hybrid vehicles after leaked reports last month suggested that only hybrid cars that could travel at least 50 miles on battery power alone would escape the ban.
This would near that the majority of hybrid cars on sale in the UK would also be banned.
Mr. Harrington has now denied that it was the Government’s intention to completely cut exhaust emissions by 2024.
The MP suggested that the goal was to achieve “pretty much zero” emissions.
“We are technologically neutral,” he stated.
“It could be that some real brain doc at one of the companies develops a kind of internal combustion engine that has zero-emissions tailpipes.
“I am not a scientist. We know our objective.
“It could be that existing technology could be adapted. I don’t know.”
Richard Bruce, a senior official at the Department of Transport, said: “The expectations that the vast majority, will be 100 per cent zero emissions.
“There any be scope in certain niche areas for internal combustion engines to persist if they are much more efficient.”
Labour chairwoman of the business select committee, Rachel Reeves criticised the Government over the 2040 ban, stating that no guidance on how to meet the ban had been outlined.
She said: “the Government has pledged that all new cars and vans should be effectively zero emissions by 2040, but rather worryingly the minister was unable to properly explain what this means.
“Manufacturers have to make important decisions on technology and investment and need clarity on the meaning of ‘effectively zero’ and what they will be allowed to sell.”