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France to ban petrol, diesel cars by 2040

Air pollution has become a major problem in Paris

France’s new ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, has pledged to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars in the country by 2040.

Hulot made the announcement at a presentation on Thursday night, outlining how the European nation intents to fulfil its commitment to the Paris climate agreement and become carbon neutral by 2050.

Hulot said that he recognised the target would be a tall order for French car makers, but that they were developing technologies which “can fulfil that promise.”

As part of the plan, poorer households will receive a premium to assist in the purchase of clean alternative vehicles, The Independent reports.

Air pollution is a massive problem in French urban centres, particularly Paris. Within the EU, it experiences the fourth-highest rate of early deaths from nitrous oxide (NO2) pollution behind Italy, the UK and Germany.

The minister also said France will stop using coal to produce electricity by 2022, and the government will invest up to $6.3 billion to help boost energy efficiency.

“We want to demonstrate that fighting against climate change can lead to an improvement of French people’s daily lives,” he said. 

Several other countries have already announced their intention to ban combustion-powered cars – The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025, and Germany and India want to cease the sales by 2030.

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London, Paris to launch new emissions system

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and London Mayor Sadiq Khan jointly announced yesterday that they are working together to creating a vehicle rating system which would score new cars based on real-world emissions and their impact on air quality.

Current schemes, such as the EU standards, only regulate some noxious emissions and require vehicles to meet laboratory condition standards, despite the fact that actual on-road emissions have been proven to exceed this limit by up to 15 times.

Recent scandals have destroyed public confidence in the current emissions legislation, and a study conducted by the German transport ministry in 2016 showed that some diesel cars that meet the highest EU environmental standards, rated Euro 6, actually release more nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide than a modern heavy-duty truck.

The new scheme allocates each model of car with a score based on the air pollutants they release during real-world, on-road conditions, which will be available to the public through dedicated websites.

Paris and London have committed to launch this online data by the end of 2017.

 “For too long, some vehicle manufacturers have been able to hide behind inconsistent regulation and consumer uncertainty about the damage their cars are causing,” said Hidalgo at the meeting.

“This announcement is a wake-up call to car companies that they need to act now.”

 “My scheme will put an end to the smoke and mirrors that have been employed in official emissions tests. It will provide Londoners with an honest, accurate and independent evaluation of the emissions of most new cars and vans on our roads and on the showroom forecourt,” said Khan.

“By having ‘on the road’ testing, I believe we will help Londoners make an informed choice and incentivise manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.”

“The toxicity of the air in London and many other big cities is an outrage, and schemes of the type we are introducing in London and Paris have the potential to make a massive difference to the quality of the air we all breathe.”

Several other cities, including Seoul, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Oslo and Tokyo have all committed to work to develop a relevant local scoring system and make it available to the public.

“Tackling vehicle emissions is a priority if you are to tackle air pollution in your city,” said Seoul mayor Wonsoon Park. “As cities made significant contributions toward the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the concerted effort shown by cities today to tackle air pollution will make air cleaner for our citizens to breathe.”

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Paris EV taxi fleet

Auto manufacturer, Hyundai will provide 60 ix35 fuel cell-powered SUVs to an electric taxi startup in Paris, France.

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