The latest evidence that the days of the internal combustion are numbered comes from Paris this morning, after city officials there announced they plan to banish all gasoline and diesel cars by 2030.
According to Reuters, the “move marks an acceleration in plans to wean the country off gas-guzzlers and switch to electric vehicles in a city often obliged to impose temporary bans due to surges in particle pollution in the air.”
Paris, the world’s most visited city, had already had a target date of 2040 to ban all petrol and diesel cars, but they have just brought the date forward ten years.
Christophe Najdovski, who works on transport policy at the office of Mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gases. Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers…so we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030”.
There is also speculation that city may go even further and ban diesel engines by the time it hosts the Olympic Games in 2024.
Although the 2030 proposal are yet to be formally approved, they mark a significant ratcheting up on the pressure to end the days of the internal combustion engine and for Parisians to change their vehicles and driving.
Earlier this month, Parisians had been encouraged to leave their vehicles at home for the city’s third official Car-Free Day or “Journee sans voiture”, but only for one day.
Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who was first elected in 2014 on a promise to tackle pollution in the city, has also begun building new bus and cycling lanes cars, hoping to model Paris on Copenhagen in Denmark, which is seen as one of the most cycling friendly cities in the world.
She said: “We are changing the model of mobility. By offering alternatives, we can do without a personal car. That’s my goal.”
Other cities in Europe are racing ahead too. The iconic city of Oxford in the UK, has just announced it plans to ban all non electric vehicles by 2020, ten years earlier than Paris.
According to the Evening Standard newspaper: “The city is set become the first place in the UK to ban all polluting vehicles from some areas within just three years.”
Initially petrol and diesel vehicles would be banned from the inner city’s streets and then this would be expanded outwards in 2025 and 2030. Oxford City Council plan to launch a 6 week public consultation on the idea next Monday.
John Tanner, Oxford City council cabinet member for the environment, told the paper: “Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford’s residents. A step change is urgently needed; the new Zero Emission Zone is that step change.”
Tanner added: “All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city’s toxic air. Everyone needs to do their bit – from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents – to end this public health emergency.”