The Scottish government has pushed back the date for when new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from sale to 2032.

Energy secretary Michael Matheson told MPs at Holyrood today that ministers had concerns over how slowly the country’s charging infrastructure was progressing, coupled with how expensive it now is to run an electric car, given the high price of electricity.

As reported by Autocar, average EV fast-charging costs are now soaring above petrol, with prices rising by more than 50% to 70.32p per kWh in just eight months. 

This, The Times reports, meant the previous 2030 target of phasing out combustion-powered vehicles was not seen as viable.

This latest decision comes as part of a new 194-page document outlining Scotland’s decarbon plans, which include a push on renewable energy to power the country while ditching fossil fuels. This will create thousands of jobs across the country, Matheson said.

The news bucks a trend in the rest of the UK, which is still firmly focused on banning the sale of new pure-combustion cars by the end of the decade, as it pushes towards a legal target of cutting greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050. A ban on plug-in and full hybrids will follow by 2035. 

A new European Union law, which promises a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars, effectively means member states will also follow by 2035 – despite some countries, such as Germany, refusing to back it.

The overall banning of the sales of new petrol and diesel cars, including hybrid-assisted powertrains, is part of a wider effort to cut planet-heating emissions.

Ahead of the ban, new Euro 7 emission regulations have also been drawn up to make combustion-powered cars released from July 2025 “as clean as possible”. These include new electrically heated e-catalysts to mitigate cold-start emissions, and live on-board monitoring of key pollutants.


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