Denmark to EU: Ban sale of internal-combustion engine cars come 2040

The urging follows similar plans other European countries have announced.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
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We live in fluid times. Ten years ago, it would have been unimaginable to hear calls to ban vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines. Today, there are multiple plans to do just that.

The latest call comes from Denmark, which urged the European Union on Friday to ban the sale of cars powered by gasoline or diesel fuel by 2040. Reuters reported on the news on Friday following a meeting of EU environment ministers, and Danish Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen told the publication that it's important to note, "We are in a bit of a hurry" with regard to reversing climate change.

Denmark originally proposed that the country would end the sale of cars powered by internal-combustion engines by 2030, however, it withdrew the plan as it reportedly violated EU rules. Norway, the Netherlands, France and the UK have all laid out similar plans to eventually ban the sale of cars with internal-combustion engines. It's unclear if these plans breach similar rules.

Norway will end the sale of new cars that use fossil fuels in 2025, while used cars will still be permitted. It assumes remaining cars with internal-combustion engines will gradually be phased out. The Netherlands will enact a similar plan, but with a 2030 timeline. France and the UK have called for total bans by 2040.

Jorgensen added that if the EU would not agree to a total ban, supportive countries would appreciate being able to institute their own policies. Denmark plans to create an alliance in a show of support for the initiative in the coming months.

Back in the US, we've seen echoes of this kind of language. A California bill introduced in 2018 called for a ban on gasoline and diesel vehicle sales by 2040. Of course, we've since seen the Trump administration revoke California's waiver process. Any such legislation is effectively stuck in neutral until court battles play out. In a wider picture, the Democratic party has rallied around the Green New Deal that calls for a 10-year phase-out period of fossil fuel use, and massive investments in zero-emissions vehicles.

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