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Ban on diesel and non-hybrid petrol cars proposed

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid prototype in London, U.K.

One of Great Britain's major political parties says it wants to see diesel-powered and non-hybrid petrol-powered passenger cars banned from British roads by 2040.

The Liberal Democrats, part of the UK's current coalition government, said it would even be willing to accelerate the timing of the ban, if the availability and affordability of fuel-sipping hybrids and battery-powered electrics matched those of regular petrol and diesel cars.

The proposal, which excludes vehicles used for freight purposes, was published in a paper submitted by the political party titled Green Growth And Green Jobs -Transition To A Zero Carbon Britain. It will be voted on by party members at an upcoming conference and could end up as official party policy if approved, The Telegraph reports.

Understandably, there has been a lot of backlash to the proposal in the UK, especially because it makes no provisions for owners of classic cars and there is no mention of solutions for charging infrastructure and other requirements for electrified cars. “To set an arbitrary deadline like this is completely unrealistic,” one opposing politician said.

The party also proposed a new road-pricing system for congested areas. This would replace the current flat road tax system, with vehicle owners paying a fee calculated on how many miles they drive, whether those miles are driven during peak or off-peak hours, and which road types are used -- as well as their car’s CO2 rating.