The UK government’s decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars could be moved forward to 2030.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in February that the original 2040 date for EVs was going to be brought forward to 2035. However, the PM is rumoured to be considering bringing the date even closer to 2030.

The announcement comes as part of a drive to make more motorists make the switch to electric cars, which despite rising in popularity, still only account for 5.5 per cent of total registrations in 2020 so far. In comparison, standard petrol and diesel cars made up 16.6 per cent and 57 per cent respectively of new models registered in the first 10 months of this year.

From 2030 it would mean that no new regular petrol and diesel cars could be sold, according to the Financial Times, though hybrid models would be allowed to continue being sold until 2035. Whether all hybrids or just plug-in hybrids would be allowed past 2030 is still unclear.

Additional investment for electric vehicle infrastructure and charging is also set to be announced.

The news will not have been welcomed by many in the automotive industry, though, not least firms which produce cars in the UK. Toyota, which makes its Corolla – a hybrid-only model – in Derbyshire, has previously said that outlawing such models would make it re-consider future investment in the plant. It’s also bad timing for the new Nissan Qashqai, which goes into production next year in Sunderland and will widely feature hybrid powertrains, but no EV is expected.

According to the Financial Times, the announcement is expected later this week when Boris Johnson sets out a plan for a low-carbon economy.