France Will Ditch Gas and Diesel Cars by 2040

Parisian streets will be a little quieter in 2040, the year France has set as a target for getting gas and diesel cars off the road. French officials are speaking out on the need to commit to environmental health, and this initiative accompanies other programs aimed at reducing the country’s carbon emissions.

The announcement was well-timed, designed to coincide with the G20 meeting, where European leaders confronted U.S. President Donald Trump over his stated intent to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

As France demands more electric, hydrogen and other green vehicles on the road, popular automakers are resolving to produce more of them. Volvo aims to have an all-electric fleet by 2019, and France’s PSA Group committed to increase electric representation in its ranks.

The plan would encourage automakers to slowly phase in electric cars, pressuring consumers to convert to electric options as they upgrade their vehicles in coming years.

The French government has even thought ahead to address an obvious issue: worries that low-income people in the country who need vehicles may not be able to afford to upgrade their cars with electric replacements. Instead, the government will provide financial support, much like the U.S. “Cash for Clunkers” program to get old, inefficient vehicles off the road.

And about all those charging stations needed for a boom in electric cars? France has those covered too, with plans to increase the number of chargers across the country.

The European Union is also working more generally on this issue. People hesitant to adopt electric technology will be able to do so with greater confidence when they see the routes they regularly travel covered with sufficient charging stations. And automakers continue to improve electric ranges, which will help alleviate demand for chargers as well.

The industry is also exploring car batteries in detail. Batteries are becoming more efficient, longer-lasting and cheaper every year — important considerations given that an explosion in electric car use would generate substantial demand for batteries. This change could also spill over into other industries that rely on batteries or may be considering cleaner energy alternatives.

And cars aren’t the only thing France is putting on blast. The nation aims to ban coal power plants by 2022, and the government will stop permitting oil and gas exploration to further discourage people from using or profiting from fossil fuels.

These efforts show that France is taking its commitment to climate seriously. The country clearly hopes to set an example for the rest of the world  – and even offers refuge to U.S. scientists interested in relocating to a nation that will support climate research.

An entire nation’s decision to abandon unsustainable power sources will inevitably have a ripple effect. France’s move may drive prices down, as once niche products become mainstream and are produced in large numbers. These sustainable initiatives will also promote innovation and growth in the clean energy sector.

While France may be the first country to announce such radical moves, it certainly won’t be the last — and other nations will benefit from France’s forward thinking.

Photo credit: zoetnet

45 comments

Melania P
Melania Padilla27 days ago

2040 seems so away from 2017, but it is a start. We need action on climate change, no words/promises.

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Alexis Miller
Alexis Miller2 months ago

Awesome!

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Celine Russo
Celine Russo2 months ago

The only things that worry me though are the materials needed for the batteries (aren't those the same from Congo or DRC?) and how to get much more electricty, especially if humans still want to grow in population instead of keeping it stable or decreasing it.

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE3 months ago

Thanks again

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Sebastian J
Sebastian J3 months ago

They, like most of the world, will lead the US in environment, economy, humanitarianism, etc. And world leadership generally.

Ahhh! Sure 'tis a small price to pay for making America Great again!

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan H3 months ago

We'll see!!!!

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Carl R
Carl R3 months ago

Thanks!!!!

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

Thanks.

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Carl R
Carl R3 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Debbi -
Debbi -3 months ago

Fantastic. All countries should do the same. Of course the auto manufacturers will have to reduce the price so electric cars will be affordable for everyone.

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