France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a “revolution”.
Nicolas Hulot announced the plan to reinvigorate France’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
He revealed that France would become a carbon neutral country by 2040.
Currently, hybrid cars make up 3.5% of the car market, with pure electric cars making up 1.2%.
“France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the US decision,” Mr. Hulot said, adding that the government would have to make investments to meet that target.
Hulot also announced that poorer families would receive financial aid to replace older car models, with newer, cleaner cars.
Earlier this week, car manufacturer Volvo said all of its new car models would be at least partly electric from 2019, an announcement referenced by Mr. Hulot.
He said he believes French car manufacturers – including brands such as Peugeot-Citroen and Renault – would meet the challenge, although he acknowledged it would be difficult. Renault’s “Zoe” electric vehicle range is one of the most popular in Europe.
France has also announced plans to ban coal power plants by 2022 and reduce nuclear output by 50% by 2025.
Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands. Both Germany and India have proposed similar measures with a target of 2030.