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France Announces End Of Gasoline Cars By 2040

France plans to stop the sale of gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars by 2040, its new Energy Minister Nicolas Hulot said on Thursday, just a couple of weeks after the energy ministry announced plans to stop granting oil exploration licenses.

“The target is a tough one. But France wants to become the No. 1 green economy,” Bloomberg quoted Hulot—an environmental activist—as saying at a news conference today to present France’s ‘Climate Plan’.

The energy ministry would offer tax incentives for people who replace diesel cars that are more than 20 years old, or gasoline-powered cars manufactured before 2001, according to Hulot.

Other pillars of France’s new climate plan include ending oil and gas exploration, and phasing out coal-fired plants by 2022.  

Two weeks ago, the energy ministry said it had prepared a draft law that would terminate the granting oil and gas exploration licenses at home and in overseas territories. In a tweet, Minister Nicolas Hulot said, “There will be no new permits for oil and gas exploration, we will vote a law this fall.”

The Climate Plan unveiled today includes phasing out hydrocarbon production in French territories by 2040, by not allocating new exploration permits, and not renewing the existing operating concessions. This fall, the government will introduce a bill that would ban new exploration permits and exploration of shale gas and all unconventional oil and gas, according to the plan.

France’s plan to stop selling cars running on gas or diesel by 2040 comes just a day after Swedish car manufacturer Volvo said its 2019 models would either be powered by fully electric or hybrid engines, steering the company to a total abandonment of the internal combustion engine in the coming years.

In another European country, Norway, for example, “six out of seven most popular car brands are now EVs”, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen tweeted on Tuesday, praising the incentives for greener cars. According to an article the minister shared, 28 percent of car sales in Norway are EVs, and the share rises to 42 percent if hybrids are included.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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