France outlines plans to scrap petrol, diesel cars in favor of EVs

Consumers will be given financial incentives to make the change.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

France wants to clear its roads of fossil fuel cars by 2040 in a move which would promote electric vehicle (EV) alternatives and reduce the country's carbon footprint.

The country's environment minister Nicolas Hulot said on Thursday that the radical decree is part of the Paris Agreement, an environmental pact of 195 countries.

US President Trump has recently pulled out of this agreement, which aims to reduce carbon emissions worldwide.

As reported by Le Monde, Hulot said France takes the threat of global warming seriously, but "the threat to our fellow citizens is diffuse, unpredictable, and the exact timeline can not be scientifically determined."

"Our responsibility is to make this subject dominant over all others," the minister added.

Taking fossil fuel-dependent vehicles off the road is the first step, and between now and 2040, as noted by Motherboard, France will gradually reduce the sale and advertising of traditional cars in favor of EV alternatives.

By 2040, it is hoped an outright ban will be in place.

EVs are gaining in popularity, but we still lack the charging infrastructure required to support all-electric cars in many cities -- and the short-term investment of an EV, despite long-term savings, is not something every consumer can easily afford with starting prices usually over the $15,000 mark.

To make life easier and to entice more drivers towards cleaner alternatives, Hulot said the French government will offer financial incentives for trade-ins.

However, the government has not revealed the figures behind the "transitional allowance" for trading in your old petrol or diesel car.

According to Le Monde, the minister also outlined plans to stop "all energy production from coal," remove all operating licenses for coal, gas, and oil to boost the green economy, and to reduce fuel poverty by 2022 -- as well as lessen reliance on nuclear energy.

The overall aim is to make the country "carbon neutral" by 2050.

See also: Renault-Nissan CEO: We will give you an electric vehicle for $8000

The announcement is timely, as it was only yesterday that Swedish automaker Volvo announced plans to give every vehicle on its production line an electric motor by 2019.

Volvo said the drastic shift "places electrification at the core of its future business." By moving away from fossil fuel and offering both hybrid and all-electric models, the automaker highlights a shift in the industry towards cleaner energy.

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