Will the European Union Ban Gas-Powered Cars?

March 29th, 2011

European traffic jam

Those crazy Europeans.

Long known for having access to desirable and fuel-efficient cars not available in the United States, the European Union may be about to propose a drastic measure that would finally end its supremacy.

According to new reports, the EU will announce plans to ban all fossil-fuel-powered cars in European cities by 2050. The detailed plan, due out Monday, will be outlined in the European Union’s Roadmap on Transport. Within 20 years, the EU plans to reduce fossil fuel traffic in urban areas by half.

Is this just another crazy proposal by the liberal Europeans, or is it a forward-thinking trend that will spread to other parts of the world?

One thing is for sure: The world will be an entirely different place in 40 years, so the EU ban could just be a formality by 2050, when fossil-fuel-powered vehicles may be in the same category as corded phones and dial-up Internet access. Still, it’s a bigger step than any other part of the world has taken and the first solid sign that gasoline-powered cars will someday be obsolete.

The end of the internal combustion engine?

The EU hopes to achieve its goal by focusing on two things: hybrid technology until full EVs are a reality and a shift toward public transportation.

The EU says the overall goal for the project is to reduce traffic-related C02 emissions by 60 percent in 2050. A big part of the reduction will come from the effort to achieve zero-C02 transportation in major urban areas, where people travel by car 75 percent of the time.

Of course, a plan like this will have its naysayers.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas immediately came under fire, with the head of the Association of British Drivers saying,

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. The man is off his rocker.

I’m sure major automakers will agree and view this as nothing more than a modern version of the turbine-powered flying “cars of tomorrow” ads from the 1950s. I tend to land on that side of the debate, as a ban on fossil fuels only means more batteries, which, as much as greenies might like to hope, aren’t exactly grown in greenhouses.

Whatever the end result, we can’t deny the path leading there has already begun and could significantly alter the market for new and used cars in the long run.

If you knew a ban on gas-powered cars was coming, would it change which cars you’d consider buying?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    You could probably have written the same article just after WWII about the demise of the steam locomotive. Things change, often for the better. I barely remember the “good ol’ days” of filth and pollution, with factories belching foul crud, the stench of burning coal everywhere, really nasty car exhaust, etc. etc. etc. My parents used passenger trains for long distance travel and listened to the radio for entertainment. One of the things I enjoy most about European travel is the ability to get around on really excellent intercity trains and the great public transportation, as well as simply seeing so many people out walking. Here in my “enlightened” suburban community I have to drive somewhere else to even walk the dog sefely, and mass transit is few and far between and only for people who can’t afford a car. Bravo EU!!! America is the land of the pigs, people who take more than their fair share and live in their own environmental excrement

  1. | #1
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