The French government wants to phase out gasoline and diesel powered vehicles by the year 2040.
The sale of internal combustion engine vehicles would end in France in 2040 under plan outlined by Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot on July 6, 2017, The New York Times reported. That means some smog makers might still be on French roads in 2055 or 2060, because cars last around 20 years.
Hulot did not say how exactly the French government plans to achieve that goal. France has already banned cars made before 1997 from its streets in an effort to combat some of the world’s worst smog.
Hulot’s announcement is important because France is a major auto producer. The nation is home to two of the world’s biggest carmakers; Renault and the PSA Group, which makes Peugeot and Citroën cars. Renault has an alliance with Japan’s Nissan and PSA now owns Vauxhall and Opel.
France is the first major auto producer to announce plans to scrap internal combustion. Although some other nations are moving in the same direction. A committee of Germany’s upper house; or Bundesrat, recommend that the Federal Republic end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030, but no concrete action has been taken on the matter. The governments of India and Norway want to allow the sale of only electric cars after 2030.
Volvo Goes Electric
“We are committed to electrification, so from 2019 all new Volvo car models will include an electric motor,” a July 4 Tweet from Volvo Cars stated.
Volvo will become the first major automaker to sell only hybrid and electric vehicles in 2019, The New York Times reported. The Swedish automaker owned by China’s Geely Automobile Holdings is probably eyeing the Chinese market. Another reason for the move is to please China’s government which is trying to discourage internal combustion engine use in the People’s Republic.
Volvo is trying to set itself apart in an increasingly crowded auto market. Like a number of European automakers, Volvo is taking heat from regulators and politicians over diesel pollution. Volvo is very much a niche player in the auto industry; it only sold 534,000 vehicles worldwide in 2016. Volkswagen, Toyota and GM each sold 10 million vehicles last year.
Tesla Puts Model 3 into Production
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) is scheduled to put its Model 3 sedan, its first mass market vehicle into production this week. The Model 3’s debut might be delayed by a shortage of lithium battery packs.
The company admitted that the supply of such packs was 40% below demand, despite the new production at the Gigafactory, The New York Times reported. Elon Musk claims Tesla will be able to produce 20,000 Model 3s a month by December but he did not address the battery pack shortage.
Actual production is not scheduled to begin until August when 100 Model 3s will roll off the assembly line. That number is supposed to grow to 1,300 in September.
It looks as if the age of the electric car is here. If somebody can find enough batteries for them.