These Nations Look Forward to the Extinction Of Fossil Fuels

If proposed bans on conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles by some of the nations of the world are any indicator, the days of fossil fuels could be headed toward extinction

It is a tall order at this stage, but the very fact some are already talking about it says something in itself.

That is, even before global plug-in car market share reaches a significant sliver, more than a half dozen countries are looking for the day that conventional vehicles would no longer be permitted to drive on their roads.

US’ status? Pushing back, but some states want to cut gas car sales by 2050

Proposals are various, and permitted along with pure EVs could possibly be hybrids, plug-in hybrids or hydrogen fuel cell cars, but the end goal is zero emissions and no more non “electrified” vehicles.

Today 95 percent of plug-in electrified vehicles are sold in only 10 countries, and worldwide, their market share is less than 1 percent, but the will to change the paradigm appears extremely strong even at this juncture.

Some of what analysts are calling aspirational goals are as much political statements for timelines as soon as 2025 or 2030, and by 2040. A child born this year would be 13 in 2030, or age 23 in 2040, so this is not something happening overnight.

True also is projections so far out cannot contemplate innumerable variables, and twists and turns of the plot that will happen between now and far-out dates pinned on the calendars of legislators who themselves will be out of office by then.

But things otherwise seem to be pulling in this direction. Here are countries looking foward to the extinction of fossil fuels:

France – 2040

Named first not because it was the first to propose the end of fossil fuels, but because it is the home of the Paris Accord on climate change, France is eyeing a 2040 deadline to end the sale of conventional gas and diesel cars.

“It’s a very difficult objective,” said Nicolas Hulot, the French environment minister in July following a visit by President Trump who is pulling the U.S. from the Paris Accord. “But the solutions are there.”

France’s stepping up was as much a protest, and is part of a larger plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK – 2040

On the heels of France came the United Kingdom, which two weeks later in July said by 2040 sales of gas and diesel cars shall be no more. It hopes.

The goal is carbon neutrality, and auto industry execs have said the move is premature and being pushed by idealistic bureaucrats.

“Policy makers should not try to be engineers,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer who is not alone in feeling this way. Palmer said, and London’s announcement was “just spin” without any practical potential for being achieved.

At the time, the decision had been defended by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

“We can’t carry on with diesel and petrol cars,” said Gove on a BBC Radio show about the proposition. “It’s important we all gear up for a significant change which deals not just with the problems to health caused by emissions but the broader problems caused in terms of accelerating climate change.”

Germany – 2030?

In October 2016 the Bundesrat, Germany’s parliament house, passed a resolution to ban internal combustion engines by 2030.

Not legally binding, the penciled-in plan would call for plug-ins or fuel cell vehicles.

Germany is home to Europe’s largest automakers including Daimler, VW Group, and BMW.

Further teeth was given to the idea in August 2017 when Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested it’s just a matter of time that fossil fuels go the way of the dinosaur.

“I cannot name an exact year yet, but the approach is right because if we quickly invest in more charging infrastructure and technology for electric cars, a general changeover will be structurally possible,” said Merkel

India – 2030?

As the “I” in the emerging BRIC nations, India has 1.3 billion people, and burgeoning growth and air pollution blamed on the annual death of 1.2 million people to contend with, and by 2030 hopes to end the reliance on conventional gas and diesel cars.

India is the world’s third-largest importer of oil, and being on board with the Paris Accord’s goal of slowing rising global temperatures, it is pushing through a policy in the name of something has to give.

“This is an aspirational target,” said Anil Kumar Jain, a government energy adviser. “Ultimately the logic of markets will prevail.”

According to India’s road transport minister Nitin Gadkari in a Sept. 7 statement to SIAM, India’s automobile lobby group, “we should move towards alternative fuel. I am going to do this, whether you like it or not.”

Others

China – 2040?

The largest car market and largest market for electrified vehicles is also looking to 2040 but has not made it official. Yet.

This month Bloomberg reported China’s Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Xin Guobin said regulators are working on a phase-out timeline for the sale and production of ICE-powered vehicles.

The Netherlands – Mid Next Decade?

One of the more aggressive, progressive embracers of sustainable transport has been the Dutch, and while a date is not set, it’s talked about 2025, and is working toward such a goal.

Last August, a ban initiative, promoted by the Dutch Labor Party, passed in the lower house of the Netherlands parliament but later was not approved by the upper chamber.

“We need to phase out CO2 emissions and we need to change our pattern of using fossil fuels if we want to save the Earth,” said politician John Voss, the major force behind the Netherlands ban prior to it being shot down. “Transportation with your own car shouldn’t be something that only rich people can afford.”

Voss also admitted the country can’t enforce such a ban until the cost of battery-electric and hydrogen vehicles decreases, and more infrastructure is available.

So, those are on the agenda, and the desire to electrify remains strong.

Norway – Mid Next Decade?

The leading nation by percentage of market share also has floated a 2025 deadline which was reported last year as in motion, then counter reported as not.

SEE ALSO: Norway is On its Way To Becoming A ‘Fully Electric’ Society

Like the Netherlands, it is on its way – even further along – but has come short of approving a ban even though it’s closest to being in position to do so with a third of cars sold being plug-in.

That same rationale is why it won’t ban them however, because at the rate they’re going in the Nordic country, they’re putting the ICE on ice so fast the species is due to die a natural death around the time they might have mandated it, so they’ll get what they want either way.


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