PLANS to bring forward a date when fossil fuel cars will no longer be available in the UK have not phased the company behind the Oxford Mini Plant.

Last week, the UK government made an announcement that no-one will be able to buy a new fossil fuel burning vehicle as of 2035.

This was five years earlier than the original deadline of 2040, and there have been rumours the government might bring it even further forward.

Responding to the news, a BMW Group spokesman said: “The BMW Group is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement as well as the EU’s ambition for climate neutrality by 2050.

"The key is to provide a choice of technologies that meet the varied needs of our customers while still achieving these emissions reductions.

"We already have 12 electrified models on sale, and more than a quarter of all electrified vehicles sold in the UK last year were BMW Group cars. We are rapidly expanding our electrified line-up still further and will offer 25 models by the end of 2023.”

The electric Mini is due to launch in the UK this year, with the new vehicles being built at the Oxford Plant.

The factory is able to build both electric vehicles and fossil fuel cars on the same production line.

Oxford city councillor Tom Hayes, the cabinet member for a Zero Carbon Oxford, welcomed news of the ban being brought forward, but said the government should go further.

Mr Hayes said: "If Government were to be bold and bring forward their ban to 2030, we would see significant shift in people’s investments and far fewer polluting vehicles on our road."

The city council is introducing a zero emissions zone in the city centre later this year which fossil fuel vehicles would have to pay to enter.