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THE Government has brought forward its plans to ban sales of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK from 2040 to 2035.

The government has been told that 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline the policy later at the COP26 United Nations climate summit in Glasgow in November.

The PM told a launch event in London the the ban could come even earlier than 2035 for new petrol and diesel cars, if possible.

Hybrid vehicles are also now being included in the proposals, which were originally announced in July 2017.

Only electric or hydrogen cars and vans will be available for sale once the ban comes into effect.

Friends of the Earth’s Mike Childs told the BBC that the government should bring the ban further forward to 2030, adding that the PM’s new target will still leave the UK in the slow-lane of the EV revolution and meantime allow more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

AA president Edmund King said: “Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging.”

King also called for further incentives for people to buy electric cars and vans, such as removing VAR while infrastructure also needs improvement.

Matthew Walters, Head of Consultancy and Customer Data Services, LeasePlan UK, added: “Though it’s a challenging ambition, it is one we are fully in support of. The next step from the Government now has to be putting a strong robust plan in place to make sure this target is achievable.

“It needs to focus on supporting manufacturers to ensure that supply meets demand, especially as we are due to leave the EU and will cease to be a contributor to its emissions targets by the end of the year.

“It must also prioritise educating the public to debunk the many myths around the move to electric that are out there. The complexities around a lack of infrastructure and range anxiety, for example, need to be addressed if we are to bring drivers on the journey.

“Above all, we must do all we can to get there as quickly as possible. There is still a way to go, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.