It was originally announced that a ban on the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) would come into effect in 2030. However, in 2023, it was decided that the plan would be moved back to 2035.

Of course, the ban represents a response to our climate crisis, which is growing more urgent by the day. It’s natural that in this context a great deal of focus is placed on the transportation industry, given that it is the highest emitting sector of CO2 in the UK.

Yet, despite the obvious environmental benefits of such a seismic shift, it remains a worrying prospect for the majority of fleet managers who still operate thanks to light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with ICEs. With the impending 2035 ban in mind, it’s evident that fleets are required to start formulating a timeline and have a plan of action for their switch to a greener fleet, throughout this piece we’ll help you understand the matter.

What exactly is the 2035 ICE Ban?

Simply put, the 2035 ICE ban will put an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK. Specifically, from the 1st of January 2035, it will no longer be possible to buy or lease a new car or van if it has an internal combustion engine. Instead, only sales of new cars and vans that produce no fossil fuel emissions will be allowed, i.e., electric vehicles (EVs).

Owners of ICE vehicles will still be able to drive them, and the second-hand market will still exist, although zero emissions zones such as the ULEZ in London may affect where you can drive your vehicle. This point is certainly relevant for fleet managers when route planning. The case is similar for hybrid vehicles, which will also be phased out in 2035.

Why is the ICE Ban Happening?

The devised 2035 ICE ban comes as part of the UK Government’s drive to reach net zero emissions by 2050, which entails “decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy”. The proposal is designed to advance the UK to the forefront of EV adoption, and thereby solidify the country’s position as leading the way towards electrification

It’s for this forward-thinking reason why the ICE ban is happening earlier in the UK, as compared to in other G7 countries. Though, it was this particular notion that many industries initially protested against, no doubt partly influencing the delay of the ban from 2030 to 2035. 

While it remains true that the promptness of the ban signals a need to quickly adapt, it will no doubt make the industry fundamentally more sustainable, an issue fleet managers are already starting to address with other means like alternative fuels and eco-driving.

The Benefits of Transitioning to Zero-Emission LCVs for Fleets

It’s undeniable that the 2035 ICE ban will mark a positive change to the environmental impact of the transportation sector in the UK. Take, for instance, the necessary dramatic reduction in air pollution, which in turn, will increase the overall health of the population as well as go a long way in fighting global boiling.

But, this doesn’t go to say that improving sustainability comes at the expense of your fleet. Fleet managers’ worries came from a fear of disruption in their typical operations. Namely, that they’d have to expend a considerable degree of finances in order to remain compliant, and further, that they’d have to go back to the drawing board where fleet productivity is concerned.

On the contrary, although zero-emission LCVs might imply a larger initial expense, they in fact lead to long-term cost reduction. This is because they are cheaper to maintain, and foremostly, they don’t demand organisations that spend on fuel, which is the greatest expense for fleets collectively. What’s more, the infrastructure to support EV fleets is now more established than ever, with charging points becoming increasingly present as time goes on. Not to mention, there’s also government incentives to be had for embracing the transition to EVs. And so, ultimately, your fleet will be rewarded for its sustainable efforts.

Develop a Plan to Switch to a Greener Fleet with MICHELIN

At the current stage of fleet management, switching to a greener fleet is inevitable. Albeit, we recognise that overnight transitions aren’t feasible for organisations, particularly in regard to small & medium-sized businesses. This is the primary reason many felt like the 2030 ban was premature. Even with the date being pushed back to 2035, a lot of companies and businesses still feel like they haven’t been afforded enough time.

It’s for this reason why we’ve created solutions for fleets precisely to aid with EV integration. We begin by helping you to carry out an EV suitability assessment (EVSA) for your fleet, so that you’re provided with all the data needed to determine which electric vehicles are suited to your specific requirements and which make the most financial sense for your organisation. 

The EVSA will also help you to identify which of your existing fleet vehicles are ideal candidates for replacement. Essentially, to ensure a smooth switch, it’s integral that you formulate a logical timeline and develop a subsequent plan of action. Thereafter, you’ll benefit from our purpose-built fleet management dashboard that has your electric fleet achieve new levels of safety, efficiency, and sustainability. 

The impending 2035 ICE ban is understandably difficult for fleets to deal with because it marks such a stark turning point, but we at MICHELIN Connected Fleet fully stand behind the underlying principle and are therefore committed to making your fleet’s transition to zero-emission LCVs as streamlined as possible. If you’re interested in how we can support your switch to a greener fleet, be sure to make an enquiry today. For further reading, feel free to browse our resources center.