Car giant Ford has warned that the government delaying the ban on diesel and petrol vehicles “undermines” the government’s “commitment.”
The ban on buying new petrol and diesel cars was due to commence in 2030, but the government has now pushed this back until 2035.
Lisa Brankin, who chairs Ford UK, said: “Our business needs three things from the UK Government: ambition, commitment and consistency.
“A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three.
“We need the policy focus trained on bolstering the EV (electric vehicle) market in the short term and supporting consumers while headwinds are strong: infrastructure remains immature, tariffs loom and cost-of-living is high.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “You want to build close to where you sell, so you need a strong market here in the UK to help secure future investment.
“The concern now is, does this cause consumers to delay their purchase?”
Ian Plummer, commercial director at online vehicle marketplace Auto Trader, said: “Pushing back the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel sales by five years is a hugely retrograde step which puts politics ahead of net zero goals.
“This U-turn will cause a huge headache for manufacturers, who are crying out for clarity and consistency, and it is hardly going to encourage the vast majority of drivers who are yet to buy an electric car to make the switch.
“Rather than grasp the challenge and use the tax system to ease concerns over affordability, the Prime Minister has taken the easy option with one eye on polling day.”
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “With the car industry confident about its ability to make the switch away from pure petrol and diesel engines by 2030 whilst still meeting the appetite of the UK market for new cars, it is hard to see why anyone in No 10 thinks now is a good moment to row back.”