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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is slated to announce this week that sales of new internal combustion vehicles will be banned by 2030, the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: It would be among the world's most aggressive policies to bolster deployment of electric vehicles and curb transportation emissions.

  • The 2030 target is five years earlier than plans unveiled early this year, which themselves were an acceleration of a previous 2040 date.
  • However, under Johnson's imminent plan, sales of new petroleum-electric hybrids could continue until 2035, they report.

Yes, but: Via Bloomberg, "three senior government officials said no decision had been taken yet."

The big picture: "Johnson is expected to move the date to 2030 in an attempt to jump-start the market for electric cars in the U.K. and propel the country towards its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, according to government and industry insiders," per FT.

  • It's part of a wider set of climate policies Johnson is expected to announce this week.

Speaking of EVs, here are a couple more pieces of news...

  1. "Volkswagen AG plans to invest around $86 billion in the development of electric vehicles and other new technologies over the next five years, as the world’s largest auto maker races to overtake Tesla Inc. as the leading maker of electric cars," the Wall Street Journal reports.
  2. "General Motors Co. is voluntarily recalling 68,667 Chevrolet Bolt EVs  manufactured between 2017-2019 as it works with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pinpoint what caused multiple battery fires," per the Detroit News.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

General Motors puts Trump in its rearview mirror

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

General Motors (GM) is racing to prepare itself for a president and a world that takes climate change more seriously — and putting the Trump era behind them in the process.

Driving the news: GM yesterday announced an ambitious plan to end global sales of internal combustion vehicles by 2035. It's part of their wider new pledge to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations

Data: EIA; Note: 2020 figures are preliminary; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.

Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.

Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Transportation's next big thing: flying taxis

Photo: Joby Aviation

The next big thing in transportation could be electric flying taxis — think of a drone crossed with a helicopter — that would ferry people and goods high above congested roadways.

Why it matters: Air taxis are billed as a cheaper, faster, cleaner mode of transportation, and an important link between remote areas and population centers. But there are still technical and regulatory challenges to overcome — not to mention public skepticism.