Formula e Renault e.Dams R.S.16 and ZOE e-Sport Concept in action
French environment minister Nicolas Hulot has plans to end the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles ... by 2040.
Plug-in car registrations in France – May 2017
Hulot isn't the first environmental minister that would like to finish off ICE vehicles (see Norway, Netherlands, India for example), but in the case of a zero emission electrical grid in France - planned to be carbon neutral in 2050, it would be a great combination.
Currently, plug-in passenger vehicles in France hold only just 1.2% of the market (details), while traditional hybrids make up 3.5%
Heading up to 2040, the situation should improve step-by-step as new taxes on gas and diesel vehicles are considered in France, while special assistance will be given to those who need help moving up the ladder to get into a plug-in. Diesel is especially under fire of late, since it turns out that it's more polluting than was originally thought.
While the end of conventional cars in 2040 is really too far away to take seriously (unlike Norway's resolve to be all plug-ins by 2025, and already standing at a 42% new car market share in June), here is some good news: 1,882 new ZOEs were registered in June - the third best result ever (and near the record of 1,980 registrations in March).
As one might expect, Hulot found a way to work in US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement last month, saying his decision and France's renewed commitment to the environment was a factor in France's new plan.
"France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the US decision," Hulot said, while noting the government will step up to make the target a reality.
The French minister also said that France will stop issuing new oil and gas exploration permits this year, and will also end the use of coal for electricity production by 2022.