Knowing what the future holds can be one of lifes many burdens. Now that diesel-fuelled cars have been given an expiry date on the UK’s roads, its hard to know what life in the fast lane will look like post 2040. 

With the many advances in emissions technology, diesel is currently here to stay. But with the strict Euro 6 emissions standards in force on London’s streets, it’s no wonder drivers are unclear about the longevity of diesel. 

So, will diesel cars be banned in London? Let’s take a look:

Impending deadline

The David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg’s of this world have been campaigning for our fossil fuel consumption to change for years. As the government increasingly comes under pressure to tackle environmental issues head on, the motor industry has never had to work so hard to keep up. 

As we hurtle ever closer to the 2040 deadline, experts have now announced that this will be too late to hit the 2050 target of virtually zero carbon. 

In response, Boris Johnson took to the United Nations climate summit in November to bring the deadline forward to 2035 claiming that 2020 would be a “defining year of climate action.” 

How does the petrol and diesel ban work?

Quite simply, the petrol and diesel ban will come into effect as early as 2035. This means that no new sales of vehicles will be made that don’t comply with the even stricter emissions policies that are currently being written. 

It doesn’t just effect diesel and petrol cars – hybrids are also part of the looming ban. Once it comes into force, drivers will only be able to purchase electric ot hydrogen-fuelled cars and vans. Essentially, time is now ticking to remove as many, if not all conventional cars from not only London, but the UK as a whole. 

So unless you are willing to upgrade your car within the next fifteen years, which let’s be honest is likely, you will need to check out what zero emission vehicles are on offer. 

How will the ban effect climate change?

Statistically about one third of the UK’s CO2 emissions come from transport. So in line with the government’s “road to zero” plans, banning conventional car sales will help move the country towards the net-zero target. 

Rolling out the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in April 2019 was the first phase of the plan. In a world first attempt to reduce emissions from one of the globe’s busiest cities, ULEZ is a gamechanger. Already dangerous NOx emissions have reduced and air quality has vastly improved. 

With that said, banning the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars won’t be enough on its own. Industry and our own homes all contribute to the high levels of emissions being released into the air. 

Facing up to pollution

It isn’t just CO2 that raises concerns in our cities. NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions regularly exceed safe levels. So all the car exhaust fumes you are breathing in daily are having potentially life altering effects on your health and wellbeing. 

Diesel-fueled vehicles are the worst offenders. They produce an overwhelming amount of roadside NOx gases that are keeping the emissions levels ramped up. Even with the Euro 6 standards in place, and special filters to reduce the toxins released into the air, diesel cars are still a threat. 

Air pollution remains at the forefront of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK government’s minds. With guidelines in place, the ban of new cars will reduce the harmful effects of pollution quickly.

As heart disease and lung problems have been linked to high NOx levels, it’s only a matter of time before the world as a whole has to confront the rising levels of pollution head on. 

I can’t afford an electric car

Currently, electric cars are some of the highest priced vehicles on the market. So it’s no wonder the idea of an upgrade puts drivers off! However, there are a multitude of finance options available to keep costs down if you want to get ahead of the game. 

As electric cars become more popular, prices will start to come down. With the Commitee on Climate Change believing that electric cars will cost about the same as current conventional vehicles by 2024/5, there’s hope. 

With industry experts wrestling with battery technology, raw materials and production are still coming up on the higher end of the market. The Nissan Leaf for example will set you back £26,000 for the basic model. 

Still fond of your diesel? Time is still on your side before the city-wide ban in 2035.


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