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Major car manufacturer defies government decision by committing to full EV transition: 'There is no turning back now'

"The government better step up now."

“The government’s better step up now."

Photo Credit: iStock

The U.K. government is attempting to walk back its previous commitment to clean energy, but the electric vehicle revolution will continue anyway. Japanese automaker Nissan just reaffirmed its commitment to EVs, reiterating its previous claim that all its new models launched in Europe will be fully electric by 2030.

The announcement comes in response to U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushing back a ban on new gasoline and diesel car sales from 2030 to 2035. The move was called "potentially the greatest mistake of his premiership so far" by a member of Sunak's own party.

But Nissan will not be dissuaded from transitioning to exclusively selling EVs in Europe. "There is no turning back now," Makoto Uchida, Nissan president and CEO, said in a statement. "We believe it is the right thing to do for our business, our customers and for the planet."

Nissan is among the legacy automakers most committed to transitioning to EVs. Not only does the company produce the Nissan Leaf, the reigning most affordable EV sold in the United States, but it recently rolled out a new electric vehicle battery recycling program.

Recycling electric batteries is vital to the industry's long-term health, as mining rare earth materials necessary to make these batteries is environmentally destructive and unsustainable.

The U.K. Prime Minister's attempt to steer away from clean energy has been criticized as short-sighted. The move "could hurt economic growth by undermining domestic and overseas investment in a range of sectors that are developing and deploying clean technologies [and] could make U.K. households poorer and colder because they will remain highly exposed to volatile fossil fuel prices," Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment told CNBC.

But it is heartening to see a company like Nissan follow through on the transition anyway.

"Take that, Rishi," wrote one Reddit commenter.

"The government better step up now," wrote another, citing a need for more charging infrastructure to meet demands.

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