The Liberal Democrats plan to ban petrol and diesel cars being driven in Britain by 2040, only allowing ultra-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads.
The plans could become party policy if they are voted in, and are part of a number of proposals that also include plans to introduce a system of road pricing in congested areas.
This would see Vehicle Exercise Duty (VED) abolished and motorists charged for each journey they make, with the rates based on distance travelled and car emissions. Rates would also vary according to whether a motorist lived in the city or countryside, with different tariffs charged during peak travelling times.
“By 2040, only ultra-low carbon vehicles will be permitted on UK roads for non-freight purposes. If technology permitted, we would bring forward this date,” the Liberal Democrat document read.
The document also suggests plans to use VED from higher emission vehicles as a subsidy for cleaner vehicles.
A spokesman for the AA said the plans were premature and should only be made when the uptake of ultra low CO2 or zero-CO2 vehicles shows signs of serious traction.
He said: “Setting a date now in the absence of hard data about what the implications would be is risky. The AA has always believed small, fuel-efficient petrol and diesel cars will continue to have major role even beyond 2040.
“We believe hybrids and ELVs will increase in numbers but not to the point where they will be dominant by 2040. If this policy reaches fruition too early it will consign many perfectly good and clean cars by today’s standard to an early grave and that would be wrong.”
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