France To End The Sale Of Petrol And Diesel Vehicles By 2040
France is to end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 the government announced today.
The move is part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord, new Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot announced today.
He acknowledged that the target would be ‘tough’ to reach, particularly for automakers.
It comes as Swedish car giant Volvo, known for its chunky diesel estate cars, announced it was going electric and that no model brought in after next year would rely solely on internal combustion engines.
Volvo’s cars will instead be fully electric or hybrid combining electric and conventional engines in what the RAC Foundation suggested could be ‘the spark which turns modern motors electric’.
Recent figures showed a 15 per cent drop in UK sales of diesel following dire warnings about air pollution deaths and costly levies.
The data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders also revealed a surge in sales of electric and hybrid models.
Volvo, which is owned by China’s Geely, said it would launch five electric cars by 2021 but will continue to produce current models with petrol or diesel engines after the 2019 cut-off.
It has yet to build any at its factories in Sweden, Belgium, China and the US but does make four hybrid models.
Meanwhile, the makers of Peugeot and Citroen cars are locked in a bitter dispute with its factory workers who worried about their jobs.
Employees blockaded themselves in the factory run by company GM&S, in Sept-Fons, to protest better conditions in a pending takeover of the struggling factory.
GM&S resorted to using helicopters to retrieve car parts from the factory while French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned the government would take the ‘necessary measures’ if workers do not lift the blockade.
GM&S is a supplier for carmaker PSA Group, which has promised €40million (45 million) in contracts and investment to keep the plant afloat.
PSA spokesman Pierre-Olivier Salmon said the blockade could force the carmaker to reconsider its funding proposals.