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Power Transportation

France Set To Ban Sale of Petrol and Diesel Vehicles By 2040 (bbc.com) 375

France is planning to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040. The planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles is part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal, reports BBC. From the report: Hybrid cars make up about 3.5% of the French market, with pure electric vehicles accounting for just 1.2%. It is not yet clear what will happen to existing fossil fuel vehicles still in use in 2040. President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement in June was explicitly named as a factor in France's new vehicle plan. "France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the U.S. decision," Nicolas Hulot, France's ecology minister, said, adding that the government would have to make investments to meet that target. Poorer households would receive financial assistance to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner ones, he said. Other targets set in the French environmental plan include ending coal power plants by 2022, reducing nuclear power to 50% of total output by 2025, and ending the issuance of new oil and gas exploration licenses.
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France Set To Ban Sale of Petrol and Diesel Vehicles By 2040

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @08:48PM (#54760925)
    when the only thing they have that's of any value is suddenly without value? I don't see how they can hope to invest away that problem because outside of oil there just isn't anything there. On the plus side the US might stop 'liberating' them...
    • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @08:50PM (#54760933)

      I wonder what's going to happen to the mid east when the only thing they have that's of any value is suddenly without value?

      No need to wonder. Just have a look at what is going on in Venezuela right now.

      • Except that Middle East has much larger pile of by-then aging modern weapons that has a used-by date, and historically and culturally speaking the countries are much more violent. The silver lining being that some of the more backward, dysfunctional monarchies finally cease to get propped up by oil, thus ending the major source of funding for terrorism.
        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          much larger pile of by-then aging modern weapons that has a used-by date

          Which we are arranging for them to deplete by having them use on each other.

      • by snookiex ( 1814614 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @11:37PM (#54761517) Homepage

        What are you talking about? The crisis in Venezuela barely has something to do with oil. Besides, Venezuela is full of natural resources and food, the Middle East is basically a desert.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          That's why middle eastern countries are investing so much in developing their other resources and alternate economies such as tourism.

        • by Gamasta ( 557555 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @06:06AM (#54762489)

          What are you talking about? The crisis in Venezuela barely has something to do with oil.

          Excuse me, but an economy where roughly 50% of GDP is based on oil as are 95% of it is not at all diversified and is bound to fluctuate a bit like the oil price. Source: http://www.economicshelp.org/b... [economicshelp.org]

          While it is true that Venezuela has also a lot of political and historical problems, a lot of the current crisis seems to come from lack of economic diversity and large dependence on oil price.

          There's a nice podcast about the current crisis in Venezuela (about 30 min) which I recommend:
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme... [bbc.co.uk]

          • The problem with Venezuela (one of them, at least) is a funny combination of populism and ignorance. The drop in oil prices is marginal compared to the political mess they're into. I don't need a podcast to tell me that, I live next door to them.
            • The drop in oil prices has everything to do with the current political mess in Venezuela. When oil prices went up over $100/bbl, they used the extra revenue to increase social services. When oil prices went back down to $40/bbl, they refused to cut back on those social services. Instead, the government started printing more money to pay for those services (effectively stealing from its citizens' savings). That started a massive inflationary spiral [xe.com] which destroyed any semblance of stability in their econ
    • by Strider- ( 39683 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @08:53PM (#54760937)

      Hydrocarbons and oil are still an extremely valuable resource, even if we aren't burning it for its BTUs. It's an integral part of the feed stocks for many chemical processes, and we'd be hard pressed to change those out. As someone once said "Crude oil is really too valuable to be burning."

      • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @09:11PM (#54761005) Homepage Journal

        Creating plastics then recycling most of them seems like it won't require us to collect as much oil and that the quality of the oil may matter less. Plus if we're making LEGO bricks out of it instead of burning it, then it isn't going into the atmosphere.

      • Over half of all petroleum products end up as fuel of one sort or another (for transportation or energy). When demand for oil for transportation falls, it's going to cut into that significantly.

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @01:54AM (#54761903)

        As someone once said

        Kenneth S. Deffeyes. A top R&D person at Shell. That adds some extra weight to that quote.

        We'll be using oil long after every car, bus, and motorbike in the world has gone electric.

      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @02:31AM (#54762001) Journal
        Many of those processes can use vegetable oils just as easily though. When you start with crude oil, you first have to split it into different hydrocarbon chain lengths, and you then crack and polymerise it until you have the lengths that you actually want. There's a lot less variation in vegetable oils than in crude, and it's just a matter of energy to transform them - the nice thing about crude oil is that there's often enough energy from burning the bits that have too high an energy cost to want to transform into useful hydrocarbons to power a lot of these processes. If you have another abundant energy source, then the cost of shipping crude oil from the middle east may outweigh the cost of producing the hydrocarbons that you want from locally grown oil crops.
        • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @05:47AM (#54762451)

          You're right but you left out a crucial factor - the same one that makes biofuels a bad idea. Using vegetable oils for industrial processes directly competes with using agricultural resources for food. Lets forget that food is just about the only truly unavoidable requirement for life we actually buy (we get water for free in most of the world, and nobody has yet managed to pollute enough of the atmosphere that they can make money selling air - though I'm sure quite a lot of CEOs get wet dreams about one day making the atmosphere unbreathable and cashing in on sales of a product nobody can live without for more than 3 minutes).
          Any competing use of agricultural output drives up food prices, and ends up killing people - that makes it a politically hard sell to begin with. Secondly it also means that the price at which you can buy it for industrial processes is driven up by the fact that other people are willing to pay good money for that same source - because they'll starve without it.
          In a world where we do NOT burn crude oil and remove the single biggest competitor for the resource, it's quite likely that the price of crude for plastics will end up significantly lower than vegetable oils - because unlike vegetables, nobody else is clamoring to buy crude oil for dinner.

      • Plus, of course, they do have at leas one more natural resource in abundance: sunshine. They could export electricity, especially when we finally work out how to store excess power efficiently. BTW - it isn't as if the Arabic Peninsula has no other, natural resources, such as minerals, but oil is just very abundant, very easy to extract and in huge demand.

    • Expect war and strife in the Middle East. In other words: same shit, different decade.

      • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @10:10PM (#54761205)

        The difference being that the major powers will have far less incentive to get involved - which has pretty consistently gone badly for them. They had been doing a pretty good job of getting their act together, with long-warring tribal kingdoms consolidating into peaceful democracies before the US and allies overthrew their governments rather than have them ally with the Russians during WWI/II.

        Heck, just stop propping up Israel's militant government to maintain a loyal foothold in the region, and regional tensions would likely ease quite rapidly, though perhaps rather bloodily.

        • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @01:36AM (#54761841)
          Read up on a little history. The chaos in the modern Middle East stems from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire [weebly.com] after its defeat in the first World War. The European victors carved up its territory into colonies along the modern borders we see today, with little to no regard for the cultural, religious, and socio-political boundaries of the indigenous people [slashdot.org]. Culturally, it would've made more sense to divide it into Turkey, Kurdistan, and Arabia, and maybe a few other countries to reflect local Sunni/Shia enclaves.

          That's why you have Iraq trying to get Sunni and Shia, Kurds and Arabs trying to stay in the same room long enough without killing each other to form something resembling a "national" government. There is no socio-political reason for "Iraq" to exist as a country - it's borders are an artificial construct created by some ignorant Europeans drawing lines on a map for land whose people they knew next to nothing about. The U.S. and Soviet Union may have played off this chaos, but they didn't cause it. Europe did.
          • Corrected link to an ethnic map of the Middle East [vox-cdn.com].
          • by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @03:52AM (#54762181)

            Read up on a little history. The chaos in the modern Middle East stems from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire [weebly.com] after its defeat in the first World War. The European victors carved up its territory into colonies along the modern borders we see today, with little to no regard for the cultural, religious, and socio-political boundaries of the indigenous people [slashdot.org]. Culturally, it would've made more sense to divide it into Turkey, Kurdistan, and Arabia, and maybe a few other countries to reflect local Sunni/Shia enclaves. That's why you have Iraq trying to get Sunni and Shia, Kurds and Arabs trying to stay in the same room long enough without killing each other to form something resembling a "national" government. There is no socio-political reason for "Iraq" to exist as a country - it's borders are an artificial construct created by some ignorant Europeans drawing lines on a map for land whose people they knew next to nothing about. The U.S. and Soviet Union may have played off this chaos, but they didn't cause it. Europe did.

            Actually it was mostly Britain and France that carved up the Ottoman Empire with Italy coming along for some scraps. Additionally the British hoped to scoop up a good chunk of Turkey proper consisting of Istanbul and the region around the sea of Marmara and the narrows by sponsoring a Greek invasion in 1919 but the Greeks got their ass kicked by Mustafa Kemal who to surprise of everybody involved turned out to be a really good military commander (read: to the surprise of the British, French and Italians, the Germans already knew his qualities as a commander) so that plan went down the tubes. The Italians quickly concluded that this was a mess not worth getting into, pulled out and started selling weapons to Kemal. I suppose you can trust the Italians to recognise a triple decker shit-sandwich with a side of bullshit when they see one. So in the end it was Britain and France who carved up the Ottoman Empire and the only reason Russia wasn't on the list is that Russia was busy tearing itself apart at the time. One of the big reasons the Ottomans allied them selves with Germany in the first place was precisely that Germany's ambitions mostly revolved around economic considerations and trade with the Ottoman Empire rather than annexing territory, kind of like American policy later became, so the Germans prior to WWI had no real ambitions to annex huge swathes of Ottoman territory whatever private fantasies Wilhelm II may have had about an oriental empire. The whole mess was then taken over by the US Government on behalf of US oil companies in the 1940s, the Russians finally made their belated appearance and that adds a third and fourth player to the list of actors responsible for the Middle East mess which in it's complete form reads: Britain, France, The United States of America and Russia. You can try to lay the mess that is the Middle East at the feet of the Europeans but it is really only Britain and France that are to blame and even they have little or no role in shaping the Middle East since October 1956, everything that happened after the Suez crisis goes to the account of the USA and Russia.

      • Expect war and strife in the Middle East. In other words: same shit, different decade.

        For a short time, until they run out of money. Without oil, the rest of the world isn't going to care about their internal strife.

        I guess bullets for AK47s are cheap, but they still need to eat.

        • Even if they run out of money for cheap bullets they'll just hack at each other with swords.

          This is a religious war that's been going on for a thousand years or so, certainly hundreds of years. This will not end soon unless they succeed in killing themselves. If they just kill one faction off then they'll just export their warring ways.

    • Oil may be their chief export, but it's not their only thing of value. They see the writing on the wall, and are already making efforts to diversify - the UAE and Qatar especially are seeking to become major financial centers. There's also potential for expansion in the tourism sector - great weather and a lot of major historical sites through the entire region. The oil boom may be coming to a slow and inevitable end, but there is time to prepare.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      Saudi Arabia and a number of the small gulf states have been liberalising their economies for exactly this reason, and that means easing up the laws restricting women, creating education and entrepreneurial funds with their oil money, and so on and so forth.

      There's a realisation for example in Saudi that whilst it'll be slow and hard due to religious resistance that when the oil stops flowing, they can't afford to have 50% (women) of their potential workforce not being productive by being forced not to work

    • by idji ( 984038 )
      Saudi Arabia has long recognized this and started massively into solar. Watch electrek.co and "Fully Charged" by Red Dwarf's Kryton to follow these developments.
  • Poorer households would receive financial assistance to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner ones, he said.

    I am curious if the energy/environmental impact of producing the new vehicle is part of the estimated/calculated beneficial environmental impact. That is, if I replace a vehicle that gets 20 MPG with one that gets 40 MPG the 100% improvement in fuel economy is partially offset by the energy that went into producing the vehicle and possibly transport (especially for imports). I know that vehicles have to be replaced eventually but this makes it seem like the idea is to replace the vehicles before the norma

    • That is, if I replace a vehicle that gets 20 MPG with one that gets 40 MPG the 100% improvement in fuel economy is partially offset by the energy that went into producing the vehicle and possibly transport (especially for imports)

      Not only that, but because it's cheaper to drive, you'll drive it more, offsetting the fuel economy even more. Which isn't to say better fuel economy isn't worth it, just that you won't get as much out of it as you think.

      • That might be true in some places in Europe where the taxation on gas is fairly high, but speaking from the US here, I'm pretty confident it's a small percentage of car owners over here who think "I better not drive now, it'll waste gasoline." At some point, there's an upper limit to how much time anyone in their right mind wants to spend in a cramped metal box concentrating on keeping it straight and preventing it from crashing into something else.

        Even if it gets better with self-driving vehicles, with

        • I agree that the travel time has an upper limit, but the regularity one might travel can change. I remember in college I'd avoid visiting my parents if I didn't have gas money. With a round trip of about 300 miles that meant roughly a tank of gas in my Oldsmobile. I don't recall what gas was then but in recent years I've seen a tank of gas be as low as $30 and as high as $70.

          If you have a set sum of money per month to spend on visiting someone/something, then that can mean doing it once, twice, or even t

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @09:10PM (#54761001) Journal

      That is, if I replace a vehicle that gets 20 MPG with one that gets 40 MPG the 100% improvement in fuel economy is partially offset by the energy that went into producing the vehicle

      It doesn't take more energy to produce a more efficient vehicle.

      I know that vehicles have to be replaced eventually but this makes it seem like the idea is to replace the vehicles before the normal end of their service life.

      The target date is 2040. Since there are no road vehicles with a "normal service life" over 20 years, it shouldn't be a big issue.

  • but I'm going to enjoy watching this.

    • I'll enjoy watching this too.

      Can someone tell me something? Will an electric car burn like a gasoline car? I'm sure I'll find out eventually but it's something I'd like to know.

      Google tells me lithium burns with a red flame, copper with a blue or green flame. I'll keep that in mind as I watch the news.

  • Surprisingly Distant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @09:14PM (#54761021)

    I'm a little surprised the date they've chosen is 20+ years in the future, though its fairly typical for governments to make grandiose decisions that they will be in no way accountable for.

    I'd be much more impressed if there were interim dates requiring all vehicles be hybrids, then plugin hybrids before eliminating combustion engines.

    • by AndroSyn ( 89960 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @09:35PM (#54761099) Homepage

      Distant. but a realistic date. First, it sends a signal to the auto industry that they better start planning for a petrol/diesel phase out. Second, it gives time to build the infrastructure to support whatever new fueling method ends up winning out.

      Now one thing to point out, they're not talking about eliminating ICEs. You very well could have an ICE running on methane, propane or alcohol for example and those would be allowed. So a interim mandate of hybrids or some particular technology is shortsighted too.

      I do admit though, this is a lot more hope than action.

      • No it is just worthless and fits in the climate change thinking where talking about something, as they want you to talk, is the thing that is important.
        The technology already exists and is for sale so if they were really interested in climate change they could of set the date to three to five years and then really sent the signal to the auto industry.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I'm sure this is what people said when Kennedy made his famous speech about going to the moon in 1961. "Oh, he will be out of office, it will be someone else's problem, it's just posturing and bravado". I mean, come on, putting a man on the moon at a time when the US couldn't even get one into low earth orbit. The cost would be astronomical and that's if it's even possible, I mean what if the surface of the moon isn't even solid or humans can't survive the radiation belts?

          The main issue is not the technolog

    • I'm a little surprised the date they've chosen is 20+ years in the future, though its fairly typical for governments to make grandiose decisions that they will be in no way accountable for.

      I would have been shocked if they made such a progressive decision for themselves, in their own time. They're damned well going to keep burning gas for their own purposes.

  • Nuclear hate? (Score:2, Informative)

    I've never fully understood the huge hate and 'we need to go carbon neutral, so we'll back off one of the biggest carbon neutral power sources we have' thing..
    Nuclear power is safe, efficient, clean and very well regulated. There are better tech, like Thorium medium term and Fusion long term that need to take over from it, but for the next 100 years or so, it would be a brilliant way to get lots of power, very cleanly.

    This isn't the 60's.. Reactor tech has improved a /lot/. All the big disasters have been

    • Re:Nuclear hate? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @09:35PM (#54761105)
      There was an interesting documentary called Pandora's Promise [wikipedia.org] a few years ago which talks about it. A lot of it is FUD, many of the anti-nuclear groups pretending to be grass roots efforts are secretly funded by the fossil fuel & coal industry.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by blindseer ( 891256 )

      That's about right. France, or any nation, cannot be "carbon neutral" without nuclear power. I don't care if you got 23 years to plan that out, unless they are sitting on some leap in technology that no one is telling me about then this is bullshit.

      Replacing all the cars with electric, while also reducing use of coal and nuclear? That's not happening.

      Barring some leap in technology we have three choices:
      - Keep burning coal and oil
      - Switch to nuclear
      - Partying like it's 1799

      Sure, you can keep the lights o

      • Gasoline engines are so inefficient, that even if you use coal to generate electricity for your electric vehicle, it's still likely to result in less emission of carbon.

        • I'm not disputing that. I'm only pointing out that switching from cheap and reliable coal to expensive and unreliable wind and solar will prove problematic in keeping millions of cars moving.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        France, or any nation, cannot be "carbon neutral" without nuclear power

        Not having a good day are you. France has a LOT of nuclear power already and unlike the USA, Japan etc they are not just sitting on what they have but are planning to add significant amounts more.

        • From the article:

          Other targets set in the French environmental plan include ending coal power plants by 2022, reducing nuclear power to 50% of total output by 2025, and ending the issuance of new oil and gas exploration licences.

          They just said they were going to reduce their reliance on nuclear.

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            OK well that's new and a total change in policy that I very much doubt is going to be implemented beyond being described in a plan.
            Well spotted.
          • They just said they were going to reduce their reliance on nuclear.

            Going from a huge percentage nuclear to 50% nuclear still means a shitload of nuclear plants. Far more than pretty much every other country on Earth.

            • Combined wind, solar, and hydro produce nearly 15% of France's electricity. They plan to cut their nuclear output nearly in half (from over 80% to less than 50%) while also tripling the renewable output, and on top of that account for growth in demand from electric vehicles.

              I agree, it is impressive to have 50% of a nation's electricity from nuclear power. It's just mind boggling that they think they can replace nuclear power with windmills and solar collectors.

              Germany tried that already and they had to r

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      They need to start building those plants NOW if they want them ready by 2040. It's only 23 years away. The plants take time to build and the fuel takes time to manufacture. This will be another one of those stupid deadlines that gets pushed back forever because politicians have no idea what they're doing. I expect the deadline to slip to 2050, 2060, etc.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      For power production as a turn key build?
      Get some land ready. Bring in the workers and build that new plant. Weld the reactor vessel. Get all the electronics and computers in.
      Start selling power to pay back all that debt. But coal, oil, solar, wind, gas, hydro exists and wants that same access to profit too.
      Years later that nuclear power plant is radioactive, cracking and falling apart.
      Time for cutting it all up and securing all the radioactive parts or give it paper work pass so the locals can keep
    • Others have made some good points - I'll just add that while fission *could* provide relatively safe and clean power for at least several centuries, the evidence to date suggests that short-sightedness, corruption, corner-cutting, and the difficulty in properly weighing the danger of *extremely* high risk, low-probability events on a large scale are all going to be major problems undermining the theoretical safety for a long time to come. And those are human problems that have proven far more intractable t

  • Gives them somewhere to get rid of excess wine.
  • by NaCh0 ( 6124 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @09:24PM (#54761061)

    Not only did President Trump get us out of an expensive yet worthless non-binding global agreement, he also got a commitment from nearly 350 local mayors to keep their carbon reduction goals and has made France step up their reduction in emissions. Liberals will refuse to admit it but President Trump has been one of the most effective leaders of reduced global fossil fuel emissions.

    Thank you President Trump!

    • I'm sure Trump's support of increased natural gas production, simplifying the nuclear power licensing, and competition from cheap coal, will drive CO2 emissions down.

      Some might think I'm crazy for thinking increased coal production can lower CO2 output in the future. I've heard people in the battery business complain about the costs of electricity to run their labs. You can claim they need to be more efficient but if you are testing your batteries to be able to take a 120kW charge then you need 120kW to d

  • I hope France is gearing up to produce the massive amounts of electricity that will be needed to replace fossil fuel powered cars. Or maybe they're just forgetting that batteries need to be recharged somehow. I wonder if burning 1 million litres of gasoline in 1 power plant is more efficient and less economically damaging than burning 1 million litres of gasoline in 1 giant power plant and then shipping all that electricity 1 million cars.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Its France. Some person in the gov will grant or revoke the ability to access any transport.
      Electric transport will not be freedom of movement.
      To own, register and be allowed to drive will become a lengthy process. Is it a classic car that can be taken to a show? That might get some special paperwork to drive around on private land for a day.

      Want a battery car? Start saving, get ready to pay new taxes. Have a real reason why ready and wait to be approved.
      Select professions like doctors, politician
  • 2040 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekymachoman ( 1261484 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @10:04PM (#54761187)

    Plans for something 20+ years ahead are retarded, there's no way to know the circumstances or predict what will be going on in 2040.
    More probably trying to score political points with stupid people.

    Some other guy in 2038 will say "yeah.. we'll postpone this 20 more years, we're not ready".

    • Ten years ago, Ethanol was going to be the future. Now it is batteries.

      In 2040 robots will be everywhere. The world will change beyond recognition.

      Interesting that nobody tries to make films set in the realistic future. For example, there were no films in the 1980/90ss showing social media and smart phones, even though these were very much on the Moore's law horizon at the time.

    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      So we shouldn't plan for the future because technological change might disrupt the plans? That's just stupid, there's nothing wrong with setting long term goals.

    • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )

      Plans for something 20+ years ahead are retarded, there's no way to know the circumstances or predict what will be going on in 2040.

      The fact that they're not removing roads and replacing them with optical fibers says a lot about what they think the future will be like. Politicians have no imagination.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This kind of short sightedness is what got us into this mess in the first place.

      Presumably you also oppose nuclear power since that's a 60+ year commitment to do stuff in the future.

  • Get rid of them in 2020!
    Fortune favors the bold.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Trump doubles down with mandate: all new cars must be powered by coal slurry by 2030.

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