France ban the sale of petrol or diesel vehicles by 2040

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The radical measure was one of a series he unveiled at a press conference this morning as part of French president Emmanuel Macron's plans to make France a carbon neutral country by 2050.

France has announced it will end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in less than 25 years.

"We announce that by 2040 the sales of cars with petrol and diesel engines will be stopped", Hulot said at the presentation of France's ecological development.

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However, Hulot failed to specify if this would mean a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, and how the plan would be carried out. In his speech, Hulot said the target would impose a "heavy" burden on domestic auto makers. Diesel cars are more polluting than originally thought, and there are plans to ban or restrict them in some cities. Germany aims to put one million electric cars on the road by 2020.

The news comes against the background of the announcement made by Swedish vehicle producer Volvo, which promised to equip all new cars with electric engines beginning from 2019.

In 2016, hybrid and electric cars accounted for 3.6 percent of new cars registered in Western Europe.

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