The government is ramping up its efforts to crack down on transport pollution by announcing that it will end the sale of all new polluting road vehicles by 2040.

This will mean no new diesel and petrol HGVs can be sold after this date, subject to consultation. The government has already announced that no purely combustion petrol or diesel cars or vans can be sold after 2030, while there will only be zero-emissions vehicles permitted from 2035.

At the same time, the government hopes vehicles weighing between 3.5 and 26 tonnes will be phased out, and then by 2040 all vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes.

The plans announced today also aim to reduce emissions in aviation and marine, too, while also encouraging many to cycle and walk where possible.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Transport is not just how you get around. It is something that fundamentally shapes our towns, cities and countryside, our living standards and our health. It can shape all those things for good or for bad.

“It’s not about stopping people doing things: it’s about doing the same things differently. We will still fly on holiday, but in more efficient aircraft, using sustainable fuel. We will still drive, but increasingly in zero emission cars.”

The government has also announced today that the whole central government fleet of 40,000 cars and vans will be zero-emissions models by 2027 (three years earlier than planned), and committing to new EV home charging points that help customers to save money.

However, there have been calls for more to be done so that operators can meet these targets.

Asher Bennett, founder and CEO of electric truck firm Tevva, said: “It is now critical for investors and the government to back electric truck solutions which meet the unique needs of fleet operators in an economically viable way.

“Unlike cars, which are used on average for 1.5 hours per day and buses that run on dedicated routes, freight trucks face different challenges when it comes to electrification, such as the requirement to work 8-12 hours per day across varied routes, environments and distances. It creates a potentially expensive problem for fleet operators further down the line.”