Britain will ban the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars starting in 2040 as part of a plan to get them off the roads altogether 10 years later, Environment Minister Michael Gove said on Wednesday.
"The Conservatives had a manifesto promise to ensure that by 2050 there would be no diesel or petrol vehicles on our roads," Gove said in a BBC interview.
"Today we are confirming that that means there should be no new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2040."
France set a goal July 6 to have no more gasoline or diesel cars sold in the country by 2040. A day earlier, Sweden's Volvo became the first major automaker to pledge to stop making cars and SUVs powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
Gove also said the government would make 200 million pounds ($326 million Cdn) available to local authorities soon for schemes to restrict diesel vehicles' access to polluted roads.
Gove said he favoured road-by-road restrictions for diesel vehicles rather than outright bans from town centres or costly vehicle scrappage schemes, but did not rule them out entirely if they were local authorities' preferred options.