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France to prohibit petrol, diesel vehicles by 2040
Plans for 2040 ban of internal combustion engines announced by French government
7 Jul 2017
THE French government has announced plans to ban the sale of vehicles fitted with traditional internal combustion engines by 2040, with the country aiming to complete a transition towards electric mobility.
France’s minister of ecological and solidarity transition Nicolas Hulot made the announcement, citing an end to the reliance on fossil fuels like petrol and diesel.
The proposed move to an electric vehicle (EV) future is designed to limit the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which would satisfy the terms of the 2016 Paris Agreement against climate change.
Spanning across six major themes, Mr Hulot said he has a 23-point plan to clean up France, with further measures to be revealed throughout the course of recently elected French president Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term.
To help the French people ease into this transition, a program will be instituted that would pay individuals to trade in their pre-1997 diesel or pre-2001 petrol vehicles for more recent, less pollutant models.
However, specific details on the exact amount of these incentives have not been released yet.
The move to ban petrol and diesel vehicles is not the first from a European country, as one house in Germany’s legislature passed a bill last year suggesting the decision to the European Union (EU).
Similarly, the government in the Netherlands also proposed such a measure last year, placing a 2025 target date for it to be instituted, but the plan was shot down for being too unrealistic.
Furthermore, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has already introduced a six-tier ban of older models from entering the city, while pushing for all diesel vehicles to be prohibited in the French capital by 2025.
Australian response to France’s decision has been strong, with Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) chief executive officer Behyad Jafari describing it as “an urgent wake-up call’’ for local governments.
“The era of the internal combustion engine is coming to an end. With more than two million electric vehicles already sold, and another one million expected this year, it’s no surprise that countries are lining up to support a booming global industry,” he said.
“Meanwhile, sales of electric vehicles in Australia are years behind, due to a lack of any policy support to provide certainty for mass market investment.”
There are currently no incentives for Aussie EV buyers, which Mr Jafari says prevents any car-maker from offering such models with a sticker price of less than $60,000.
Thus, the EVC continues to call on Australian governments to provide short-term support for EVs until sufficient demand has been created.
“It’s clear that the move towards electric transportation is under way. The only question left is whether Australia will be makers or takers in the future of this industry,” Mr Jafari said.
Swedish company Volvo just confirmed plans to introduce electrification into every new model it launches from 2019, with internal combustion engines to be paired with electric motors to create plug-in or mild hybrid set-ups, while pure EVs are also part of its plans.
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