France to uphold plan to ban fossil fuel vehicles by 2040

ban fossil fuel vehicles

It is a fact. France will ban vehicles powered by fossil fuels by 2040, the country’s minister of transport Elisabeth Borne confirmed.

A long road traveled

Two years ago, the government of Emmanuel Macron laid the bases to end sales of fossil fuel vehicles. Under this plan, France will completely ban the sale of these cars by 2040.

Now, minister of transport Elisabeth Borne is announcing the definitive adoption of this law.

This way, France is saying goodbye to these cars, which account for 95% of Spain’s vehicle sales. With this new development, the country is paving the road toward electric mobility.

Borne explained that the Mobility Law “is an answer to ecological urgency with ambitious and realistic objectives.”

The end of fossil fuel cars will be official in 2040, when France will ban sales of vehicles fueled by gasoline and diesel.

It is a significant move, considering that electric vehicles currently account for 2% of car sales in France.

In pursuit of carbon neutrality

Former environment minister Nicolas Hulot said in July 2017, at the start of Emmanuel Macron’s term, that France aimed to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. The measure is an attempt to becoming a carbon neutral nation by 2050.

Hulot resigned in September 2018, citing Macron’s lack of commitment to the environment. Since then, the government has since rarely mentioned the ban, partly because of the “yellow vests” protests against high carbon taxes on fuel prices and the high cost of life.

In an interview with BFM television, Borne confirmed that the new law will uphold the end goal set by the former official.

“We have a target for carbon neutrality by 2050 and we need a credible trajectory towards that, which includes a ban on the sale of vehicles that consume fossil fuels by 2040,” she said.

Combatting climate change

Borne added that France has a large automobile industry lead by PSA and Renault, which will help make the change to electricity, hydrogen and, possibly, biogas.

“Since the start of Emmanuel Macron’s term, our target is the climate plan that Nicolas Hulot announced in the summer of 2017. We will now inscribe this target into law,” Borne said.

The mobility law will also facilitate the rollout of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Among other initiatives, it will give the residents of apartment buildings the right to ask for the installation of EV plugs in their parking lots.

Waiting for Parliament approval

The law is currently being debated in parliament. It is expected to be approved after the summer and will update a 1982 law on transportation.

The reform wants to favor alternatives to individual automobile usage, upgrade railway networks and create a legal framework for new mobility solutions such as free-floating bicycles, electric scooters, and car-sharing.

It will also give companies the option to offer employees a tax-free 400 euro subsidy to come to work on bicycles or with car-sharing. Borne said companies would be obliged to discuss this subsidy in wage negotiations with unions, but the subsidy would not be mandatory for all companies.

For more information, check Energía16

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