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  • Overview
  • Nov '23
    Tracker data: How is support for phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles changing?

Cars & transport

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  • Overview

    A transition away from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles and towards Electric Vehicles (EVs) is a central part of the transition to Net Zero for the UK. Sales of EVs are increasing, the second-hand market is growing (making them more affordable) and car manufacturers are switching the models and ranges on their production lines. But the date on which sales of new ICE vehicles will be stopped was delayed by the UK government in 2023 (from 2030 to 2035).


    Alongside the phase out of gas-powered boilers for domestic home heating, the ICE phase out has become the focus of political debate, with a clear opinion gap between Conservative (who are less favourable towards the phase out in 2030 or 2035) and Labour MPs, and to a lesser extent among the public.

    This narrative thread features data showing changes in support over time for this policy from our own Climate Barometer tracker, wider polling insights on the ICE phase out (and support for EVs) and commentary to make sense of changes in how people think about this key transport policy.

  • Climate Barometer Tracker 8th November 2023

    Tracker data: How is support for phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles changing?

    Three waves of our tracker of MP and public opinion shows support and opposition for phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

    Overall, public support remains stable, although opposition has been slowly rising, especially among Conservative voters. Support remains higher than opposition looking at the sample as a whole (especially among Labour voters). Notably, despite the question wording being amended in October 2023 to include a phase-out date of 2035 (previously no date was specified), and the attention drawn to the policy by Rishi Sunak’s speech), there have not been any big leaps in public sentiment. Among Conservative voters however, there is more opposition than support and opposition has grown by 10% in a year.

    The most dramatic change is the increase in Conservative MP opposition to the phase out of petrol and diesel cars in October this year: Conservative MPs appear to oppose the policy to phase out petrol and diesel cars even with the delayed date of 2035.

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