European Commission Proposes Ban on Gas and Diesel Vehicles by 2050

By · March 28, 2011

EU Traffic

The executive body of the EU has announced plans to bar gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles from European cities by 2050. If adopted, the proposal would create a unified “European Transport Area,” which would be charged with meeting ambitious pollution and congestion limits and gradually facilitating a comprehensive transition to near-zero-emissions transportation on the continent, by expanding infrastructure and incentivizing alternative-drive commuter and freight vehicles.

The shorter-term goals outlined in a just-released white paper (PDF) detailing the plan, include a 50 percent reduction in the number of non-hybrid petrol- and diesel-fueled vehicles by 2030, and “CO2-free movement of goods in major urban centers” by the same date. (That means lots of hybrids in the coming decades.) Hybrid, electric, and fuel cell cars would receive continued support from governments in the meantime, through policies intended to support research and development, incentives for consumers and manufacturers, and adjusted taxes and fees on conventional vehicles.

The plan and EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas immediately came under fire from automakers and driver groups throughout the world. “If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track,” said the head of the Association of British Drivers. “The man is off his rocker.”

But though Kallas admits his agency's proposals are radical, he maintains the goals are both reachable and necessary if Europe is to meet emissions targets and eliminate its dependence on foreign oil.

"The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true,” said the commissioner, as reported in The Independent. In the white paper, the body makes it clear that its policies are intended to make transportation in Europe cleaner and safer, but that preserving and enhancing the convenience and freedom of movement enjoyed under the current systems would be a top priority. “Curbing mobility,” the paper says, “is not an option.”

The implications of such a policy would be wide-ranging for the car industry, likely effecting the global lineups every international automaker. Moreover, the increased prevalence of electric-drive vehicles in the European market above already-ambitious existing targets would be a major help in decreasing costs for batteries and other advanced systems currently hindered by low production volume.

The European Commission estimates the scheme would cost roughly 1.5 trillion euros, (or about $2.1 trillion.)


· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Sounds a bit like banning photographic film, CRT screens, or 8-track tapes. Not necessary when better technology displaces the old. By 2050, the economic benefits and performance advantages of electric traction will have completely displaced the internal combustion engine, regardless of government policy (provided it is not deliberately opposed).

· JJ - from Canada (not verified) · 7 years ago

In other words...

Buy ICE car = buy gas,
get oil changes,
change air filter,
clean throttle body,
change exhaust components,
replace dirty O2 sensors,
replace spark plugs and wires,
replace EGR valve and clean EGR ports,
clean or replace fuel injection nozzles,
replace timing belts,
replace leaking gas tank,
replace PCV valve,
adjust engine valves,
replace engine gaskets,
replace tranny fluid,
pull your hair out trying to figure out what wrong with your car,
and spend tons money at garages.

Buy an EV car = plug it in at night and go to bed.

· JJ - from Canada (not verified) · 7 years ago

And from looking at the above photo... they need traffic lights in that city.

· GraniteWizard (not verified) · 7 years ago

Hmmm.. Most everything that JJ listed is handled cheaply and quickly with a 10-30 minute visit to any JiffyLube-type place a couple times per year. I have a 9 year old Camry with 178K miles that has spent less than four hours total in the shop for unscheduled repairs (one broken belt, one emissions malfunction). If someone is spending money on all the stuff in that list, they're not taking care of their car very well. Heck, I had a Dodge Intrepid for almost 10 years, 245K miles and I was still on the original transmission (which, I'm told, is unheard of). Now, I paid just over $11K for my then-5-year-old Camry. A Volt (which I'd like) costs over $30K after tax rebate. The total combined expense for those two repair bills was less than $1000 (I use private mechanics). My Camry gets 30mpg without much difficulty. I *wish* EVs were more practical and I'll be in line with my wallet when it happens, but until then, there are cheaper ways to save money. Just going from my 24mpg Intrepid to my 30mpg Camry means 25% less gas burned.

· · 7 years ago

"GranitWizard", I think you totally missed the point "JJ" was trying to make. Get away from fossil fuel vehicles of all kind and you will not have to worry about any of those things he mentioned in his comment and you will even cut your carbon foot print to "zero" when you drive your total electric car. Buy your electric vehicle now and when new battery technology comes out...change the battery and the life span of you new electric car can be double or triple of your fossil fuel vehicle.

I think EU's plan to bar gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles from their cities is not aggressive enough. They should set that ban for 2025, not 2050. Japan needs a lot of help, but they are a proud people and most of them will not beg. What better way to help Japan get back their footing than have them start mass producing electric vehicles to help Europe get away from fossil fuel? I would suggest the same for America but we have too many people like you, GranitWizard, who will fight change tooth-n-nail until the pollutions fossil fuel creates kills you and all your heirs.

· Dave K. (not verified) · 7 years ago

Anonymous, the problem is it will be opposed, many intrenched interests have a big stake in fossil fuels and will not give up easily. Some are not so obvious either, like road taxes on fuel and convienience stores that sell everything from candy bars to lottery tickets, if you don't need gas why stop? Exxon-Mobile is the most profitable business in history so there is plenty of potential lobbying money...

· JJ - from Canada (not verified) · 7 years ago

Go on any car repair message boards are there are thousands upon thousands of people with car problems.

A lot of these problems are due to the fuel and oil that carbonizes the various sensors and clogs up the ports.

Car repair is a big industry, with EV you'll still need to get new brakes, wheel alignments, new tires and probably some computer glitches fixes.

EV owners will save time in car repairs and the money saved they can spend it elsewhere: restaurant meals, gifts and home renovations etc.

+ fresh air and less street noise.

· Eric (not verified) · 7 years ago

Although I'm all for removing gasoline and diesel from the entire transit system, I disagree with the idea of a ban, which is very draconian, and undemocratic. Increase taxes on gas and diesel, continue raising mpg and pollution standards for vehicles (which will make those vehicles more costly), and increase subsidies for clean energy and and electric vehicles. By 2050 oil will be so expensive and electric propulsion will be so advanced the same effect will be made without making it illegal to drive what you want.

· CadillacDroid (not verified) · 7 years ago

That is a picture of the traffic circle surrounding the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.... and let me tell you... I would be estatic if this did come pass. Europeans (besides Germans) should not drive... EVER

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Its a joke. First plan something for 2015, then think about 2050. In 40 years, whether the govt bans or not, the gasoline & diesel vehicles will be gone and replaced by EVs running on batteries on short range with hydrogen providing power in long range.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

How about banning Gas and Disel burners buy ...2012? All governments love to propose benefical ideas\programs that always are set to take place far far in the future. Why is that exactly. Where are the politicians that have to courage to say we need bold decisive action right now, not some far off point down the road? To put it bluntly, we need a complete ban on gas-burners NOW, not in 5 year or 10 or 100, we need it yesterday. Car dependency has destroyed our cities, our health, and is an huge financial burden, both to individuals and society as a whole. And sorry guys, but a billion EV;s or worthless complex hydrids wont solve any of the underlying problems that personal cars create, sorry.

· JJ - from Canada (not verified) · 7 years ago

How about... governments stop subsidizing the oil companies and give some of that money to EV battery research and development?

· Michael (not verified) · 7 years ago

This ban is just plain nutty. Most, if not all, of the people involved in orchestrating this ban will be dead by the time it is invoked.

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