France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, the media reported. On Thursday, Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal, reports the BBC. Hulot, a veteran environmental campaigner, said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Hybrid cars make up about 3.5 per cent of the French market, with pure electric vehicles accounting for just 1.2 per cent. According to Hulot, poorer households would receive financial assistance to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner ones, the BBC reported. Earlier this week, car manufacturer Volvo said all of its new models would be at least partly electric from 2019.
He said he believes French car manufacturers – including brands such as Peugeot-Citroen and Renault – would meet the challenge, although he acknowledged it would be difficult. Renault’s “Zoe” electric vehicle range is one of the most popular in Europe. However, traditional fossil fuel vehicles account for about 95 per cent of the European market.
Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands. Both Germany and India have proposed similar measures with a target of 2030.