Paris to Ban Gas-Powered Vehicles a Decade Ahead of Schedule

France's most-visited city will fast-track the banning of non-electric cars, now expected to happen by 2030.

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle on charge on a London street
Miles Willis—Getty Images for Go Ultra Low

Less than two weeks after Paris celebrated its third annual Day Without Cars, its mayor has decreed that the schedule for moving out fossil-fuel powered cars is moving up. Reuters reports that France's most-visited city will be banning non-electric cars as early as 2030, which is a full decade before the rest of France.

Despite France itself planning on banning the sale of gasoline and diesel cars within the country in 2040, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo believes that it's simply not fast enough. Paris has already begun to fast-track this process by trying to simply keep cars out. Parts of the city have "no-car zones," and the city even hosts an entire day when cars aren't permitted within the 40-square-mile area that Paris covers. 

Furthermore, the city has already begun to dissuade older cars from entering the city using the most powerful motivator there is: Money. Drivers behind the wheel of cars older than 20 years will face fines unless registered as an approved classic.

Don't call it a ban, though. Paris officials aren't calling the limitations on vehicles an outright ban, but rather masquerading it behind a hard cutoff where inefficient cars powered by an internal combustion engine would be phased out in favor of newer, greener technology.

"This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gases," Christophe Najdovski, an official responsible for the transportation policies in the mayor's office, "Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers...so we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030."

Fortunately for Paris, strong incentives already exist for the switch to electric. New owners can claim €6,000 ($7,100 USD) if purchasing an electric car, or further increase their incentives to €10,000 ($11,800 USD) should they also arrange to have their old diesel vehicle scrapped alongside the purchase. This leaves quite a financial burden for the country to consider, given that there are about 32 million registered vehicles on the road throughout the country.

It's beginning to become apparent that legislators across the globe want to phase out gasoline and diesel. Germany has announced their intent to move forward amid the ever-continuing dieselgate scandals, France set a hard deadline of 2040, and parts of the U.K. have are quickly assembling their collective strategies. Even the state of California is considering being in the limelight for the United States. With key countries like China fast-tracking manufacturers to build electric cars, eventually the path to electrification will be inevitable.