Councils tasked with devising anti-diesel pollution plans

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 as part of an ongoing effort to improve the UK's air quality.

Speaking to The Car Expert at the recent launch of the new Volvo XC60, Jon Wakefield said that there is now a growing real understanding of what electrification of cars can provide.

The push for zero emissions in Europe also comes as the current US presidential administration plans to relax emission regulations and claims it will boost the use of fossil fuels.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: "Today's plan sets out how we will work with local authorities to tackle the effects of roadside pollution caused by dirty diesels, in particular nitrogen dioxide".

Eye-catching headlines led to confusion over the detail of the government's 2040 ban on new "conventional petrol and diesel" vehicles as many mainstream media outlets initially overlooked the omission of hybrid vehicles from the proposal.

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Vincent Tourette, Renault UK boss said: "We've been pioneers in electric vehicles and this news has validated that we got it right before anyone else".

Sales of electric and hybrid models have risen by almost 30 percent in the same period, the fastest growing section of the market, but it still accounts for less than 5 percent of new vehicle registrations.

There are now over four-thousand electric vehicles on New Zealand roads, with those numbers set to increase in the coming years.

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents commercial vehicle and franchised auto retailers across the United Kingdom, argues that Euro 6 diesel cars should not be penalised.

It was described by a government spokesman as the biggest environmental risk to public health in the United Kingdom, but Wednesday's announcement is by no means the most far-reaching or ambitious in Europe.

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Britain will join other European nations in plans to ban diesel and petrol-fuelled cars in the coming decades, in a move created to force a shake up within the auto industry as governments seek to deal with high levels of air pollution and climate change.

"Meanwhile, the latest clean technologies available in modern diesel and petrol powertrains will continue to play an important part in keeping cities and businesses across the United Kingdom moving". It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills. The petrol and diesel ban is good news, but "the law says ministers must bring down illegal levels of air pollution as soon as possible, so any measures announced in this plan must be focused on doing that", CEO James Thornton told the Guardian.

If the recommended measures are not sufficient to ensure legal compliance, local authorities can consider introducing restrictions on polluting vehicles using affected roads or introducing charging. Sales of those vehicles were up 25% in the first quarter of 2017.

The industry, though, appears to be turning more quickly to electric vehicles.

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