Holes easy to spot in government's electric vehicle promise

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Reports in the Guardian and Financial Times both indicated the United Kingdom is set to ban the sale of all diesel and petrol-burning cars and vans by the year 2040 as part of an air quality plan, including hybrid vehicles.

Swedish carmaker Volvo has said all new models will have an electric motor from the same year.

Air pollution causes an estimated 40,000 premature deaths each year in the United Kingdom and is linked to health problems including childhood illnesses, heart disease and dementia.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars", Environment Secretary Michael Gove said on BBC Radio 4's "Today" show.

Asked if there was no alternative to more wind farms and nuclear power energy stations, the Scot replied: "There is no alternative to embracing new technology".

In 2017 around 4% of all new vehicle sales have been plug-in hybrids or fully electric, with around a quarter of that figure sales of fully electric cars.

Make no mistake-gas- and diesel-powered cars have an expiration date, it's just further away than you might've thought.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the commitment to phase out sales of diesel cars was "welcome", but "Londoners suffering right now simply can't afford to wait until 2040".

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"The chancellor has often warned against demonising diesel motors - diesel motors emit less Carbon dioxide and are therefore more environmentally-friendly but of course we need to work honestly and of course we continue to look for other solutions", German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said. It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills.

Quentin Willson, a former presenter of Top Gear, said it would cost trillions, adding: "You are going to have to get rid of 15 million diesel cars, you'll have to change auto factories, no more petrol stations; just think about what that's going to do".

All cars allowed to be sold in the United Kingdom have to adhere to exactly the same emission limits, regardless of size or shape.

"We would have preferred a target to hit and the ways to hit it being left to industry to work out, but the industry has a history of meeting targets and when we know more detail we work towards them".

Charging zones for the most polluting vehicles is also an option if these measures don't cut emissions enough.

This follows the introduction of the London "Toxicity Charge", where the majority of pre-2006 vehicles will receive an additional charge as of the October 2017 - the toughest emission standard of any world city.

"In 2016, sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) experienced a huge increase, with demand up 22% across the year, and 10,000 motorists choosing to go pure electric".

Back in the old days when cars had carburetors and the exhaust fumes from the vehicle ahead of you were so strong you could smell them, people who wanted an early exit from the rigors of life would simply roll down the garage door, start the engine, and go peacefully to their eternal rest, thanks to the toxic stew spewing out of the tailpipe of their internal combustion powered auto.

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