Like it or not, we are moving toward a future of gas-free automobiles.
We discuss the topic often, but two recent developments suggest that the end of the fossil-fuel era could happen sooner than we once thought.
Volvo now plans for all of its vehicles to be either electric or hybrid starting in 2019, and France has said it will ban all gas and diesel vehicles within the next 20 years. Should the U.S. follow suit?
France is only the latest place to announce plans to phase out gas motors. NBC News says,
- Norway has laid out the most aggressive plans. It wants to get there by 2025. It helps that a full 24 percent of the vehicles sold in this oil-rich nation already are battery-electric
- India wants to get all its vehicles switched to battery power by 2030—and that means it not only wants to end the sale of internal-combustion vehicles but to convert or replace all other vehicles already on the road by the end of the next decade, a goal few see possible
- The Netherlands already has a relatively high EV sales rate, about 6 percent of its total new vehicles, but it has yet to formally lock down a switch to electric vehicles some would like to implement by as early as 2025
- Germany may also push to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, but there is strong opposition, especially since half of its electricity comes from coal. Yet German automakers are launching major drives to electrify and that could help build momentum for a switch.
Volvo wants to go all-in, too. The company is the first mainstream automaker to commit to phasing out the internal combustion engine in favor of an all-electric future.
The Atlantic quoted Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s president and chief executive, as saying,
This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car.
Volvo’s plans call for the continued use of the ICE, but only in hybrid form.
Electric-car sales in the U.S. make up about 3 percent of the market, but a growing list of affordable EVs with a 200-mile range could help boost the number of Americans taking the leap.
The United States is one of the least likely countries to ban the sale of gas-powered cars, but maybe it’s time to start thinking about the possibility.
Should the United States follow the lead of France, Norway, India, and Germany and implement plans to ban the gas-powered engine?
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