Fossil fuel phase-out


The U.K. will follow in the footsteps of some European countries as it announced plans to ban the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars by the year 2040, according to Green Car Reports.

The initiative closely follows a similar announcement from France, which also declared 2040 as the year it will phase out fossil fuel vehicles. Norway and the Netherlands also have announced similar plans, although both plan on banning the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2025.

U.K. Environment Minister Michael Gove announced the decision and outlined several proposals to ensure the goal is met. One proposal would include a "scrappage scheme," similar to a cash-for-clunkers initiative, to trade in fossil-fuel powered cars for more efficient electric vehicles. Although the U.K. would prioritize the sale of battery-electric vehicles, hybrids would still be permitted, Gove said.

Another proposal would see multiple "clean air zones" created in different cities, which would involve a tax on motorists driving gasoline or diesel cars. However, the government made it clear it will look at additional taxes only as a last resort.

The U.K. also will invest heavily in solutions that can have an impact in the short term. Retrofitting buses with cleaner engines, changing road layouts and reprogramming traffic signals are all being considered as tactics to improve air quality. A formal plan for these initiatives is expected in March 2018. (Source: Green Car Reports))

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