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European Commission To Ban Diesel And Petrol Vehicles By 2050

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On: Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 3:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

European Commission To Ban Diesel And Petrol Vehicles By 2050

If you had any doubt that hybrid, electric, fuel cell, and other alternatively powered vehicles are the future of the automobile industry, the European Commission is here to dispel those doubts. The executive arm of the European Union has proposed a ban on all gas and diesel vehicles in European city centers by 2050. The ban follows similar actions and proposals in individual cities around Europe.

The proposal seeks to cut emissions and reliance on foreign oil by up to 60 percent. The EU currently relies on foreign oil for around 96 percent of its transportation needs. The European Commission hopes that zero-emissions vehicles will make up half of Europe's vehicles by 2030. By 2050, it wants to all gas and diesel vehicles out of cities altogether.

Late last year, Paris proposed a ban on inefficient gas and older diesel vehicles in the center of the city. Denis Baupin, an environmental official in the administration, was quite blunt at the time: "I'm sorry, but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense. Sell it and buy a vehicle that's compatible with city life." The city plans to test such bans later this year.

Other French cities are considering similar actions, and those models will likely guide the European Union in its own actions.

The European Commission's proposal takes it several steps further. Not only does it apply to all European cities, but it applies to all gas and diesel vehicles as opposed to only the least efficient models.

The European Union-wide ban is just one aspect of a greater document called The European Transport Roadmap 2050. Other aspects of the plan include building a more robust public transportation infrastructure so that private vehicles become less necessary. The plan would convert half of member nations' "middle distance journeys" from road-based routes to rail-based routes. It also foresees connecting all of the EU's major airports with major train lines. Seaports would be further developed to help cut down on vehicle traffic through the interior of Europe.

Far from a binding piece of legislation, the proposal will now go to the European Union's member governments for consideration and debate.


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