France aims to end sale of petrol, diesel vehicles by 2040

The measures are part of an ambitious plan to help France meet its targets under the Paris climate accord.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said the proposals such as the decision to end the sale of fossil fuel powered vehicles was a tall order and would constitute something of a 'revolution.'

France will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord, new Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot announced on Thursday.

"We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040," Hulot said, calling it a "veritable revolution."

Hulot acknowledged that reaching the goal would be "tough," particularly for automakers, but said that French carmakers Peugeot-Citroen and Renault were well equipped to make the switch.

France, home to Europe's second-biggest car industry, dominates its market for electric vehicles, with the Renault Zoe far outselling other models in 2016.

On Wednesday, Sweden's Volvo said it planned to phase out production of petrol-only cars from 2019, with all new models to be either electric or hybrids. 

The Chinese-owned group is the first major manufacturer to electrify all of its models.

Hulot cited Volvo as an example in making his surprise announcement, part of the government's new stated plan to make France carbon neutral by 2050.

For public health

Hulot said that weaning France off conventional cars was also a matter of "public health."

Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and other French cities have a chronic smog problem.

On Wednesday, Sweden's Volvo said it planned to phase out production of petrol-only cars from 2019, with all new models to be either electric or hybrids. 

The Chinese-owned group is the first major manufacturer to electrify all of its models.

Hulot cited Volvo as an example in making his surprise announcement, part of the government's new stated plan to make France carbon neutral by 2050.

Source: 
AFP