The U.K. became the latest European country to mark the end of the line for diesel and gasoline fueled cars as automakers such as Volvo race to build electric vehicles or face the consequences of getting left behind.
In London, the government said it will ban sales of the vehicles by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and become a carbon-neutral nation. For some in the auto industry, the plans are too much too soon while environmental campaigners say exactly the opposite.
“We could undermine the U.K.’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive officer of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. “Outright bans risk undermining the current market for new cars and our sector, which supports over 800,000 jobs across the U.K.,” he said. “The industry instead wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars.”