Britain will ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040, minister says

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File: Britain's Environment Secretary, Michael Gove.

LONDON - Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2040 as part of a plan to get them off the roads altogether 10 years later, environment minister Michael Gove said on Wednesday.

"The Conservatives had a manifesto promise to ensure that by 2050 there would be no diesel or petrol vehicles on our roads. Today we are confirming that that means there should be no new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2040," Gove said in a BBC interview.

READ: EU's car regulator warns against car diesel ban in cities

Gove also said the government would make 200 million pounds available to local authorities shortly for schemes to restrict diesel vehicles' access to polluted roads.

Gove said he favoured road-by-road restrictions for diesel vehicles rather than outright bans from town centres or costly vehicle scrappage schemes, but did not rule them out entirely if they were local authorities' preferred options.

Several European countries announced plans to dramatically reduce the amount of polluting petrol and diesel cars on their roads in favour of cleaner hybrid or all-electric vehicles.

Germany aimed to put one million electric cars on the road by 2020.

France would end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord, new Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot announced earlier this month.