France plans to outlaw all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, its new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has announced, quoted by the Telegraph.co.uk.
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.
Mr Hulot, a former star wildlife TV presenter, announced "the end of the sale of petrol or vehicles between now and 2040."
The French will in the meantime be offered financial incentives to scrap their polluting vehicles - including second-hand ones - for clean alternatives, he said, without providing more details.
Mr Hulot cited the example of a "European maker" who had already decided to take the plunge. That was a reference to Volvo, which on Wednesday announced plans to build only electric and hybrid vehicles starting in 2019, making it the first major automaker to abandon cars and SUVs powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the move was dictated by customer demand. It means that in two years, all new Volvo vehicles will have some form of electric propulsion.
"The solutions are there, our own makers have in their boxes the means to fulfill this promise," said Mr Hulot, calling it a "public health" issue.