France plans to ban all gasoline or diesel cars to "make the planet great again."
That's M. Hulot telling gasoline cars where to go in the classic Jacques Tati film "Traffic." Now a different M. Hulot, French Minister of Ecological and Social Transition, Nicolas Hulot, has declared that France will be carbon neutral by 2050, and “the end of the sale of petrol or vehicles between now and 2040". That's a long enough lead time to have the car industry adjust, according to the Guardian,
Prof David Bailey, an automotive industry 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.”
Others think that the market will actually be faster; Tony Seba of Stanford University tells The Guardian that “banning sales of diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2040 is a bit like banning sales of horses for road transportation by 2040: there won’t be any to ban.”
But to push the market switch along, France will soon offer incentives to replace pre-1997 diesels and pre-2001 gasoline powered cars.
The ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) ban is getting all the press, but is just one of many measures proposed by Nicholas Hulot and the government. France will stop burning coal (although it only gets 5 percent of its power from it now, so that shouldn't be a stretch), reduce its reliance on nuclear energy from 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025, and at last, according to the Telegraph, "restrict the use of palm oil in the production of biofuels with the aim of reducing indirect deforestation."