Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee), Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) reduce the number of sports utility vehicles and (b) incentivise people to switch to more environmentally-friendly vehicles to improve air quality in (a) London and (b) other cities.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(a) New regulations came into effect on 1 January 2020. These tighten the existing target significantly for the average CO2 emissions a car manufacturer’s fleet can emit, down from 130g/km to 95g/km. If manufacturers do not meet this target then they face fines. As this is a fleet average target, manufacturers can make vehicles with emissions above the new 95g/km target providing they balance this out across their fleet with those that are lower than 95g/km. These targets reduce further in 2025 and 2030.

(b) To incentivise people to switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles to improve air quality, the Government is investing nearly £1.5 billion‎ between April 2015 and March 2021 to support the transition to zero emission motoring and has put in place a range of grant schemes. We have put in place various grant funding schemes to assist with the up-front cost of purchasing eligible electric vehicles. Motorists who choose to make the switch to electric also benefit from lower Vehicle Excise Duty and, from April 2020, lower company car tax rates.

On 4 February, the Prime Minister announced that we are consulting on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible.

In London, the Mayor is responsible for air quality in the capital.

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