2030 petrol and diesel car ban could spark ‘price war’ with China in 'imminent risk'

A car exhaust

The UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 04/09/2023

- 12:56

The UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with the European Union following suit five years later

The chief executive of BMW has warned that plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK and European Union could lead to a price war with Chinese manufacturers.

Oliver Zipse warned that European car makers may be forced into a price war with Chinese rivals, adding that legacy European manufacturers are unlikely to win the battle.

He said: “The base car market segment will either vanish or will not be done by European manufacturers.

“I want to send a message: I see that as an imminent risk. You wouldn’t do a review if legislators were certain that everything was in order.”

An electric car charging station

All car sales after 2035 will be zero emission


Oliver Zipse pointed to Chinese manufacturing giants like BYD, who have expanded massively into Europe and North America in recent years, the Financial Times reported.

He was speaking in anticipation of the annual IAA Mobility conference, which is expected to see more Chinese companies than ever before.

The UK Government has remained steadfast in support of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

A further ban on hybrid vehicles will take place five years later, meaning only zero emission vehicles and those that can travel a significant distance without producing tailpipe emissions will be eligible for sale between 2030 and 2035.

When the plans were announced in 2020, the Government branded it a “historic step towards net zero”.

The European Union decided on slightly less ambitious targets, with the phase-out of sales of new internal combustion engine cars coming in 2035.

It is estimated that cars currently account for around 15 per cent of all CO2 emissions in the UK.

There had been calls from some in the bloc to include a loophole for the ban, namely the inclusion of so-called “e-fuels”.

Zipse has vowed to continue with the development of internal combustion engine vehicles for other areas of the global automotive market.

A number of major superpowers around the world have not pledged to a firm date to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles.

He added: “Some players are doing only electric, but these players are not covering the whole market.”

This comes after BMW unveiled its new “Neue Klasse” electric concept car, which is set to enter production in 2025.


BYD Dolphin EV

BYD is one of the world's best-selling car brands 


New battery cells will be included which are said to improve charging speed and range by 30 per cent and increase efficiency by 25 per cent.

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