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Published on August 21st, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan


2040 & 2050 Pollution Car Bans Not So Bold

August 21st, 2017 by  

Several countries have now announced or considered plans to ban gas- and diesel-powered cars by a certain year. These eventual bans are certainly welcome and helpful from a messaging and persuasion standpoint, but if you look at the expected exponential growth curve of electric car adoption, banning polluting cars in 2040 or 2050 doesn’t actually look like a very bold move. More or less, it looks like that will happen anyway from simple market forces.

India has a target — unofficial still — to become a fully electric transport nation by 2030. This is the only truly bold target, in my humble opinion. It’s also why I was prompted to write an article in June discussing how practical the target is.

The UK’s plan and France’s plan to ban polluting cars by 2040 (and presumably the ban Germany’s Angela Merkel has floated) are all so moderate that I’m not even concerned about them achieving these goals.

That said, the targets do send a signal to automakers and consumers. They raise awareness. They may even alter R&D and production plans. They are helpful, as they can genuinely hasten the transition to electric vehicles — even if the targets set today are too soft to mean much in 2040.

Kudos to the political leaders and organizations that have initiated the discussions and agreed to the plans. Appreciation to the auto business leaders that welcome and even inspire them. But I would add: Don’t be afraid to get bold! Set more bold targets. Really push the envelope. Really push the industry to clean up its act — the technology is already here and ready to roll.

Leaders don’t just follow the trend. Leaders create the trend and hack down the weeds with a machete to create new paths. Leaders do things that people previously didn’t see or think possible — not things that seemed obvious and easy.

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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