France to Ban All Gas and Diesel Vehicles by 2040
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One of French President Emmanuel Macron's more optimistic plans involves making France a carbon neutral country by the year 2050. Achieving that requires some major changes to the way in which energy and transport work in the country.
According to The Independent, France's new environment minister Nicolas Hulot just set out two big pledges with this in mind. The first is for France to stop using coal to produce electricity by 2022, instead replacing the lost production with green alternatives. But the bigger pledge came for the transport sector. France intends to ban all vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel by the year 2040.
Fully-electric car production is only now beginning to ramp up with Tesla leading the way. Under the French government's plans, car manufacturers have just over 22 years left to fully embrace electric or clean burning fuel vehicles such as Toyota's hydrogen cars. And let's not forget the infrastructure these cars will require for recharging/refueling and the investment that will take.
Such a ban does pose other problems, too, such as how to deal with millions of cars that will be illegal come 2040. There's also the cost of buying a new car, which inevitably everyone will be forced to do if they want to continue being able to drive. In that regard, Hulot stated there would be financial help for poorer households.
Getting to 2040 without a single gas/diesel vehicle on the road is certainly possible, but only if it is well planned. The remaining 22 years until the proposed ban comes into force needs to be split and demands made on the car industry every few years. If that happens, then France could have only zero emission vehicles on its roads well before the 2040 deadline.