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The French government has announced plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars by 2040, in a move that is expected to prove a significant boost for the electric car market.

The measures were announced by Nicolas Hulot, the new French Environment Minister, and form part of the country’s plans to meet the Paris agreement climate targets.

Announced just a day after Volvo hit the headlines with the company’s announcement that all new models from 2019 onward would only be available as electrified models, Hulot considers the move to be a challenge, and acknowledged that it would put pressure on French manufacturers.

However, it seems as though the national automotive industry has been consulted on the move since Hulot stated that the manufacturers have plans that can match this aim.

Renault is already a leading EV manufacturer, and the PSA Group – which includes Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, and soon Opel/Vauxhall – has previously announced ambitious electric vehicle targets.

Plans will see a scrappage scheme introduced to promote cleaner cars, though it is not yet clear whether the announcement meant a ban on all but pure-electric vehicles, or whether hybrid models would still be allowed to be sold.

France is just one country to plan a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, with the Netherlands, Norway, and India all announcing proposals for similar measures. However, Hulot’s announcement is either on a far larger scale than that of the Dutch and Norwegian proposals because of the size of the country, or more concrete than India’s plans.

The UK has plans that nearly all new cars and vans on sale by 2040 to be zero-emission, though there are currently no expectations that this commitment will be put into law

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