Drivers look to dramatically cut car use with 2030 car ban looming

Michael Gove grilled by Hartley-Brewer on car ban cost

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A recent study has found that 98 percent of participants in a car-free July experiment were planning on reducing their car use permanently. Climate charity Possible challenged over 1,000 people to ditch their cars for July to see how their travel habits would change and to reduce emissions.

More than eight in 10 participants took part because of their willingness to reduce their carbon footprint, while air pollution and being more active were also popular reasons.

Sandra Green, Birmingham campaigner at climate charity Possible, said she hoped more people would consider their own use of vehicles.

She added: “It’s often said that once you’ve tasted car-free life, you won’t want to go back. These results show, resoundingly, that this is true. 

“I hope that more and more people take the dive, challenge themselves and cut their car use to help reduce pollution in our cities, make streets happier and healthier and protect the climate.”

The UK Government is pressing ahead with its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.

This will be followed by a ban on the sales of new hybrid vehicles from 2035, when fossil-fuelled motorbikes may also be restricted.

Transport emissions make up 27 percent of all UK greenhouse gas emissions – with cars accounting for over half of this total.

At the end of August, the American state of California announced a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035.

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The move was made to force car makers to accelerate the introduction of cleaner vehicles on to the market.

As part of the 2035 plan, 35 percent of new vehicles sold in the state must be electric, hybrid or hydrogen-powered by 2026, and 68 percent by 2030.

Washington state also announced that it would ban the sale of new internal combustion engine-powered cars from 2035.

The new policy requires 100 percent of new sales of passenger cars, trucks and SUVs in the state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035, with one-fifth allowed to be plug-in hybrids.

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Transportation-related emissions account for more than 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington.

Nearly 20 percent of new vehicle registrations in Washington in July were either electric or hybrid.

In total, 104,000 electric vehicles – either fully battery electric or a plug-in hybrid electric – are registered in the state, about 2.5 times the total from two years ago, according to the Guardian.

Anna Lising, senior climate advisor to the Governor of Washington, said the state intends to meet the goal by 2030.

She said: “We think of the California regulation as the floor and we’ve set a new ceiling of trying to get that done by 2030.”

It is believed that 17 other states may follow through and ban the sales of new fuel-powered cars.

Under the Clean Air Act, states must abide by the federal Government’s standard vehicle emissions standards unless they at least partially opt to follow California’s stricter requirements.

The Australian city of Sydney is also looking to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars, but at a much earlier stage than other cities, states and countries.

The Committee for Sydney has planned to ban the sale by 2027 in a bid to meet the goal of being net zero in the state of New South Wales by 2050.

A report called “Decarbonising Sydney” said: “If electric vehicles carry the vast bulk of achieving the 2030 target, 100 percent of passenger car sales will need to be EVs in 2027, leading to approximately 850,000 passenger EVs on the road by 2030.”

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