Boris Johnson announced a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 but he is finding it hard to get much support from his fellow Tories and the right wing press.
Johnson touted a 'green industrial revolution' for the UK as he launches a ten-point, £12 billion plan for the environment, saying it could create 250,000 jobs and slash the country's carbon emissions.
It includes further investment in nuclear power, wind energy, domestic heating and cutting edge technology such as carbon capture and storage.
But there are concerns that electric vehicles will cost far more than conventional models meaning that the poorer people will become carless. Not that the Tories or the Right Wing press have cared much about them before.
But what Johnson’s plan will do is put £40 billion in road taxes at risk because electric vehicles are exempt. Although that exemption will probably come off when the cars are actually on the road.
Nicholas Lyes of the RAC warned that many motorists would be nervous about the switch to electric cars, given their limited driving range and charging problems.
Urging ministers to revive discount schemes for buyers, he said the biggest barrier by far was the high upfront cost.
The push for electric vehicles will come with a £1.3 billion investment in charging points in homes, streets and trunk roads.
The UK has a legal target to cut greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, requiring huge cuts to emissions and any remaining pollution from sectors such as aviation needs to be 'offset' by measures such as planting trees.
There is also pressure to set out ambitious action to tackle the climate crisis because Britain is to host a United Nations environment summit which was delayed by the pandemic and is now taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Johnson, who drove a 15-year-old diesel car before entering government, said: 'Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven't lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country."
The sale of some hybrid vehicles will be allowed until 2035.