This would give a new lease of life to the UK car industry.
Sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars should be phased out by 2030 to tackle climate change and air pollution, Labour has urged.
The UK government has consulted on plans to move the end of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans forward from a 2040 deadline to 2035 or earlier if feasible, and including hybrids in the ban.
Ahead of a final decision, Labour has called for the Government to be “ambitious” by ending the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans by 2030, to create jobs, cut carbon emissions, and reduce air pollution.
Shadow ministers have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, warning him that a failure to ensure a rapid shift to zero-emissions vehicles will damage the UK’s car industry.
It will also harm the UK’s standing on the world stage as host of key UN climate “Cop26” talks in Glasgow next year, Labour said.
The call comes after the Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change urged ministers to bring the phase-out forward to 2032 at the latest, backed by detailed policy arrangements in order to deliver it.
A number of Tory MPs have also backed a call to move the date forward to 2030.
Shadow climate change minister Matthew Pennycook said: “2030 is an ambitious but achievable date by which to phase out the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles.
"This would give a new lease of life to the UK car industry, whilst combating climate breakdown and cleaning up the air that dangerously pollutes so many of our towns and cities.
“But as well as accelerating the phase-out, the government must also set out a credible plan to get there – one that backs the low-carbon jobs and industries of the future and ensures that workers and communities are properly supported in the transition to a fairer and cleaner economy.”
The call has been backed by environmental campaigners.
Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said: “Hats off to Labour for backing a 2030 ban for all new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans.
“They have joined the chorus of businesses and councils that have also been calling for a more ambitious phase-out date and policies to support workers to transition, in order to dramatically reduce emissions and help secure a future for the UK automotive industry.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We want to build a greener transport system, reduce carbon emissions and boost economic growth in the UK which is why we’re supporting the transition to zero emission vehicles.
“Our £2.5 billion programme to support grants for plug in vehicles and funding for chargepoint infrastructure at homes, workplaces, on residential streets and across the wider roads network, are all part of our world-leading package to encourage electric vehicle uptake.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), warned that pulling the phase-out forward by a decade to 2030 could have a “devastating impact” on the industry.
He said: “While we applaud the ambition, such a challenging timescale would be insufficient for the industry to transition, threatening the viability of thousands of businesses and undermining sales of today’s low emission technologies.”
And he urged: “The range of electrified vehicles on the market today is ever increasing – but we need a fully-funded strategy that mandates a massive investment in infrastructure, supports a competitive UK industry and encourages consumers to make the switch.”
Emily Beament is the PA environment correspondent.