FRANCE SETS SIGHTS ON ELIMINATING GAS-ONLY CARS
PARIS» No more gasoline or diesel cars sold in France by 2040 — that’s the ambitious goal set Thursday by France’s environment minister as part of far-reaching efforts to wean the world’s No. 6 economy from fossil fuels.
Some manufacturers and drivers met his proposals with skepticism, but others viewed them as a welcome riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Minister Nicolas Hulot, unveiling a five-year government plan to encourage clean energy and fulfill France’s commitments under the Paris accord, said French car manufacturers have projects that “can fulfill that promise.”
His appeal comes after Sweden’s Volvo became the first major automaker to pledge to stop making cars and SUVs powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
The Paris mayor wants to ban diesel vehicles by 2020.
But Hulot’s plan would cover the whole country and also target gasoline-powered cars. In response to concerns from low-income drivers, he proposed aid for poorer families to buy cleaner cars.
The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, PSA Group, said the environment minister’s pledge fits with its goal of offering hybrid or electric versions of 80 percent of its cars by 2023.