The government of Scotland is currently planning to phase out the sale of new petrol/gasoline and diesel cars by the year 2032 — a full 8 years earlier than the current plans from the UK government. This plan was recently revealed by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
While part of the reason for the announcement is no doubt purely political — as a means of Sturgeon showing, amongst other things, that Scotland will pursue its own best interests rather than waiting on London for guidance — part of the motive is presumably the pragmatic one of reducing air pollution.
The First Minister of Scotland was quoted as saying: “Our aim is for new petrol and diesel cars and vans to be phased out in Scotland by 2032.”
While a nice sentiment, it’s yet to be made clear what that amounts to in practice — as regards actual policies.
As noted by Reuters in its coverage, Scotland currently accounts for roughly 10% of the UK’s total auto market — so, big news for Scotland, perhaps, but probably not too important to those in London (and elsewhere in the southern UK).
It’s an open question, though, if London itself will wait until 2040 to ban the sale of new diesel and/or petrol cars. The air pollution problem in the city has become so severe in recent years that strong action (beyond the current plans for low- and zero-emissions zones) seems likely over the coming decade.
As it stands, the sale of new diesel and petrol/gas cars in the UK is slated to be banned onwards from 2040 — as per the government’s recently revealed plans on the matter, but nothing on the law books.