Last reviewed 15 July 2021

The Government has confirmed plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel heavy good vehicles from 2040, as part of a broader plan to achieve net zero emissions from all forms of transport ten years later.

The new Transport Decarbonisation Plan outlines the Government’s approach to decarbonising the UK’s highest-emitting sector. It covers all domestic forms of transport including new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, and follows on from an earlier decision to bring forward plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2035 to 2030.

Launching the new plan, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said phasing out diesel and petrol will create new opportunities for the automotive sector.

“Decarbonisation is not just some technocratic process. It’s about how we make sure that transport shapes quality of life and the economy in ways that are good.

“The Transport decarbonisation plan is just the start — we will need continued efforts and collaboration to deliver its ambitious commitments, which will ultimately create sustainable economic growth through healthier communities as we build back greener. “

According to the decarbonisation plan, cleaner transport will create and support highly skilled jobs, with the production of zero emission road vehicles alone having the potential to support 10s of thousands of jobs worth up to £9.7 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2050. 

Sandy Parsonage, Director of Supply Chain and Logistics for Sainsbury’s, welcomed the Government’s ambitions

“We are already working across our supply chain to explore alternative fuels and develop a zero carbon fleet of the future. At the same time, we’re investing to reduce the emissions across our current fleet. This ambition will accelerate efforts to develop the technologies the UK needs to achieve net zero.”

The Transport Department’s consultation proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes, and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes or earlier if a faster transition seems feasible.

The plan also includes net zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040, but international aviation and shipping are not covered.