In the mid-1990s, car companies fought to kill off electric cars, ensuring a continued reliance on oil. That looks to have been in vain, as the age of the internal combustion engine – and the pollution it causes – may well be coming to an end.
That’s because France has announced it will ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, a hugely exciting decision for anyone who wants a greener, cleaner world. The move was revealed by Emmanuel Macron’s government, who’s quickly making a name for himself with rational decisions in the face of, you know, that other guy.
The announcement was made by Nicolas Hulot, France’s ecology minister. In a press conference, he said: “We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.”
France now joins a host of other countries that have plans to ban petrol and diesel cars in the coming years. Some of those include The Netherlands and Norway (2025), and Germany and India (2030).
The ins and outs of the plan are not yet clear, though. While France will ban the sale of these vehicles in 2040, pushing a reliance on electric cars, it's unknown what will happen to existing fossil fuel cars. According to BBC News, poorer households will get financial assistance to replace their older cars with new, cleaner ones.
This comes on the back of a decision by Volvo to ensure all of its cars are at least partially electric by 2019. Hulot said he hoped other car manufacturers would also announce similar initiatives.
And it’s just one of several plans France has to become carbon neutral, which it hopes to do by 2050. They are planning to stop using coal to produce electricity by 2022, although they’ve also said they plan to reduce their reliance on nuclear from 75 percent of the country’s energy to 50 percent by 2025. Nuclear is pretty good and useful, so that’s a bit of a weird one.
All of this is, of course, driven by the Paris climate agreement. While one man continues to try and destroy the world, it’s quite heartening to see so many countries take the threat of climate change seriously. Tomorrow, leaders from around the world will meet at the G20 summit, with climate change being one of the main issues.
It's pretty exciting to think that, by 2040, our world might look a lot different. The days of filling a car with polluting petrol may soon be long gone – and we'll look back and wonder why it took so long to switch to electric in the first place.