As a way to achieve net zero carbon footprint to meet air quality and climate change goals, countries like the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and India have floored the idea of banning cars powered by an internal combustion energy to use electric or hybrid cars. France has decided to follow suit in the goal of achieving a similar target.
Nicolas Halut, the country’s new environment minister made an announcement that France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. This announcement comes after Volvo announced its plan to build only electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019.
This announcement comes as part of the five year plan to meet its target and satisfy the countries obligation under the Paris Agreement and perhaps to maintain the country’s “leadership” in climate policy.
Although Mr.Halut acknowledges that the quick decision may have an effect on the car makers, he also confirms that the France’s industry is very equipped to make a switch. “Our car makers have enough ideas in the drawer to nurture and bring about this promise…which is also a public health issue”, he said further.
The decision is one that bothers on public health and “a way to fight against air pollution”. Therefore it will be given due response so that France will continuously maintain her position as one of the leaders of climatic action in the world.
However, Prof David Bailey, an automotive expert at Aston University said: “the timescale involved here is sufficiently long term to be taken seriously. If enacted it would send a very clear signal to manufacturers and consumers of the direction of travel and may accelerate a transition to electric cars.”
Prior to France’s announcement, Bloomberg New Energy finance predicted that electric car will dominate the automotive one quicker than envisaged. In addition, this move will lead to a reduction in oil demand “by 8m barrels a day and increase electricity consumption by 5% to charge all the new cars”.
On a 2016 list of large car manufacturers with the lowest carbon emissions, French car manufacturers Peugeot, Citroen and Renault ranked first, second and third, according to the European Environment Agency report.
In all, this is a great step as a shift to electric vehicles will cut down carbon emissions which is a great way to reduce air pollution.