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Six major car makers to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2040

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·3-min read
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Six major car makers to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2040
The UK government has said all new road vehicles in the UK are set to be zero emission within the next two decades. Photo: Reuters

Six top automakers, including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), will commit to phasing out the production of fossil-fuel vehicles globally by 2040, the UK government said.

Volvo (VOLCAR-B.ST), Daimler Mercedes-Benz (DAI.DE), China's BYD Co and Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors Ltd (TTM), are among the 11 car makers who are geared up to sign the pledge at COP26 in Glasgow, as part of global efforts to slow down global warming.

Volvo has already committed to going fully electric by 2030

The declaration states “we will work towards reaching 100% zero emission new car and van sales in leading markets by 2035 or earlier, supported by a business strategy that is in line with achieving this ambition, as we help build customer demand.”

Some 20 governments will also sign the pledge, which states: "We recognise that alongside the shift to zero emission vehicles, a sustainable future for road transport will require wider system transformation, including support for active travel, public and shared transport, as well as addressing the full value chain impacts from vehicle production, use and disposal."

The statement comes on a day dedicated to transport at the conference.

Read more: COP26: UK to become world's first net zero financial hub, says Sunak

GM said it is "proud to now stand alongside other companies, governments and civil society organisations to support the declaration to commit to working towards a transition to 100% zero emission vehicles by 2035."

Ford said: "It will take everyone working together to be successful."

But some top car makers, notably Toyota (7203.T) and Volkswagen (VOW.DE), as well as governments of some key markets like China, the US and Germany, are missing from the list of signatories. This is even as California and New York have signed up as individual states.

Honda (7267.T), Nissan (7201.T), BMW (BMW.DE) and Hyundai (005380.KS) are not on the list either.

This brings into question how significant the declaration is and if it can make any meaningful change with these crucial parties missing and if companies from countries who haven't signed up can be successful without government support.

Some companies may be unwilling to get on board because it hurts their bottom line.

Meanwhile the UK government has said all new road vehicles in the UK are set to be zero emission within the next two decades.

This, combined with the UK’s 2030 phase out for petrol and diesel cars and vans, represents a world-leading pledge to end the sale of all polluting road vehicles, it said.

The UK government is also unveiling a new design for electric vehicle chargepoints, which "could become as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus or black cab."

It is being showcased in the UK Pavilion at COP26 and "prioritises inclusivity and ease of use, designed with consumers, local government, accessibility groups and industry."

Watch: What are freeports?

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