Fossil fuel vehicles have been facing an anti-sentiment across the world for quite some time, especially in the wake of the rising air pollution levels, climate change and arrival of electric vehicles. Several countries have already expressed eagerness to shift into fully electric mobility within the next few decades.
In 2019, Britain became the first G7 country to set a net-zero emission target by 2050. No wonder, this will change the way the Britons use their vehicles, commute on roads and use energy.
A significant part of this target will be contributed by the barring the fossil fuel vehicles from plying on roads. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already announced the ban on new fossil fuel vehicles will be implemented from 2030, five years earlier than the previously planned deadline. This move to ban fossil fuel vehicles is claimed to be a key step towards achieving the 2050 zero-emission target which will be implemented through a 10-point plan. Also, it will boost the demand, production and sales of electric vehicles in the country.
As Boris Johnson wrote in a column, the UK government will invest more than £2.8 billion (Rs 27,533.17 crore approx.) in electric mobility. This will include EV charging points and long-lasting EV batteries in UK gigafactories.
The package will include a £1.3bn (Rs 12,781.22 crore approx.) investment to accelerate the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure across the country. The UK government has also pledged £582 million (Rs 5,721.22 crore) to provide incentives to buyers of zero or ultra-low-emissions vehicles along with investing £500m (Rs 4,915.03 crore) in the next four years to aid the development of mass-sale EV battery production in the UK.
Not only the UK, but several other countries across the world have also decided to move towards a similar target. In these cases as well, the fossil fuel vehicles are at the receiving end.
Let’s take a quick look at which countries have been mulling the idea to ban fossil fuel vehicles.
World’s biggest auto market China started studying the effect of the ban on production and sales of fossil fuel vehicles back in 2017. However, the Asian economy giant known for its notorious pollution levels didn’t specify the timeline when the ban will be introduced.
In the meantime, the Chinese government has been encouraging the sales of new energy vehicles (NEV), through various subsidies to the automakers and buyers as well. Also, the government has taken strict measures in order to discourage consumers from buying fossil fuel vehicles. China aims to attribute 50% of its overall new car sales by 2035.
In 2019, Niti Aayog, India’s central think-tank asked the two-wheeler manufacturers in the country to draw up a plan to switch to electric vehicles. It also recommended that only electric scooters and e-motorcycles with engine capacity of more than 150cc must be sold from 2025. Initially, the Indian government announced its plan to adopt electric mobility completely by 2030, but later the government backtracked. However, the Indian government is promoting alternative energy sources like bio-fuel, CNG etc.
Meanwhile, several states across India have already announced their EV policies to promote electric mobility. These include tax subsidies and incentives for the EV manufacturers and EV buyers.
The United States, one of the largest car markets in the world is also mulling the idea to put a ban on sales of fossil fuel vehicles. In September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order seeking to ban new fossil fuel vehicles by 2035. Likewise, a recent report by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection also suggests all new vehicles will need to be electric or hydrogen-powered by 2035 to meet the state’s climate goals.
In October 2020, West Coast Democrats introduced federal legislation that would ban sales of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2035. However, electric vehicles accounted for less than 5% of total vehicle sales there in 2019. The proposal was hailed as a step to reduce pollution and protect local manufacturing.
The move runs counter to the Donald Trump administration’s steps in rolling back Obama-era fuel economy standards that the overall industry hasn’t met since 2015.
European Union environment ministers struck an agreement on 23rd October 2020, to make the block’s 2050 net-zero emissions target legally binding. However, the EU left a decision pending on a 2030 emissions-cutting target for the leaders to discuss in December 2020.
Among the EU countries, German cities started to introduce bans on older diesel vehicles that emit higher amounts of pollutants than permitted from late 2018. The homeland of Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche is also looking at a 2030 ban on the fossil fuel vehicles.
France has set a target of 2040 to ban fossil fuel vehicles. Back in 2016, France announced that all diesel vehicles will be banned in its capital city Paris.
Norway’s economy relies heavily on revenues from the oil and gas sector. The Scandinavian country aims to become first in the world to end the sale of fossil fuel vehicles, setting a 2025 deadline. At present, fully electric vehicles make up about 60% of monthly sales in Norway, the highest in the world. The country promotes electric mobility through a host of subsidies and incentives to the buyers of electric vehicles.
The Canadian province of Quebec has announced a few days ago that it would ban the sale of new petrol-powered passenger vehicles from 2035.