Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 26th September 2017

Recently, it was announced that all petrol and diesel cars will be be banned from 2040. Launched by ministers Michael Gove and Chris Grayling, the ban is in place to improve air quality. When the ban is in effect, drivers will only be able to buy electric cars. This decision could affect the classic car market, considering many of them have old engines. So, what will change going forward and how will drivers need to adapt?

The problem with diesel

Diesel fumes are estimated to cause 23,500 early deaths a year, and new measures are being introduced to lower pollution. The policies include making buses environmentally-friendly, removing speed bumps and changing road layouts. From 2020, town halls will be allowed to levy extra charges on diesel drivers who’re using the UK’s 81 most polluted roads.

The government may also ban drivers from driving on these roads during peak hours. However, town halls won’t be able to bring in city restrictions. They will only have jurisdiction on the 81 most polluted roads in the countryside.

A government spokesman stressed that regular drivers won’t be treated unfairly. “Diesel drivers are not to blame and to help them switch to cleaner vehicles, the government will consult on a targeted scrapping scheme – one of a number of measures to support motorists affected by local plans. Overall, we are investing £3 billion to tackle the effects of roadside pollution and supporting greener transport initiatives.”

Another policy the government will introduce is the Clean Air Fund. Councils will be able to bid for money to support improvements that avoid the need for restrictions on polluting vehicles. Ministers have accepted that if they don’t succeed in reducing emissions, councils may have to consider restrictions on polluting vehicles using affected roads.

The electric revolution

With electric cars taking the place of petrol and diesel vehicles, there has been an increase in production. BMW plan to build an electric Mini, with the electric drivetrain manufactured in Germany and shipped to the UK. BMW representatives have said that by 2020 they’ll be able to offer an electric version of any new model of BMW or Mini.


BMW have decided to build the electric Mini in Britain, despite warnings about Brexit damaging the car industry. According to BMW board member Ian Robertson “BMW’s decision recognises the strength of the excellent workforce, our record of innovation and the productive relationship between the automotive sector and the government. The automotive industry is a great British success story and the Mini is a big part of that.”

For 2017, BMW have pledged to sell 100,000 electric vehicles. BMW have followed in the steps of Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota, investing heavily in their UK car plants.

What do you think about electric cars? Do you believe they’ll help to lower pollution?