There is an oft-repeated mantra that government bureaucracy and social inertia will ultimately stall the adoption of forward-thinking technologies, like autonomous vehicles, and delay what many view as an inevitable cultural shift. While there is no denying that there is some truth hiding behind this cliché, the French government's recent blockbuster announcement regarding the future of the automotive industry within that country has gone a long way toward shattering plenty of preconceived notions regarding the velocity at which the usage of gas and diesel engines will decline.
As The Guardian's Angelique Chrisafis and Adam Vaughan report, Emmanuel Macron's newly-elected government has announced a ban that will end the sale of vehicles with conventional engines, place an emphasis on eco-friendly alternatives (electrified automobiles, specifically), and keep the European nation on track with the goals set forth by the Paris climate accord. In other words, there's no denying that France is ready and willing to do whatever it takes to stay at the forefront of the next great wave of innovation and change within the automotive marketplace – and to take proactive steps toward rectifying what it has deemed as a "public health" issue.
While the hard deadline of 2040 might seem a bit abrupt, Chrisafis and Vaughan go on to note that Norway, the Netherlands, India, and the United Kingdom have all already adopted (or have set the wheels in motion to adopt) programs that seek to phase out or eliminate combustion engines from their respective regions and operate on much swifter timelines.
Additionally, with French-Japanese automaker Renault-Nissan already spearheading the shift toward battery-powered automobiles (Nissan-Renault lays claim to a 14.6 percent market share of all electric vehicles sold in the European Union and 425,000 of the two million sold worldwide) and the country's well-documented willingness to turn away from fossil fuels in general (the French people derive roughly 80 percent of their electric supply from nuclear facilities), it should honestly come as no surprise that France has taken charge of a discussion that resonates on both economic and political levels with a progressive and tech-centric approach.
Interested in learning more about the bold decision by the French government to put a moratorium on gas and diesel vehicles by 2040, as well as the possible ramifications that could come with this measure? Then go ahead and check out the full story by clicking the link below.