France to Phase out Diesel Powered Vehicles

France phases out diesel
Students who graduate from auto mechanic college can expect to fix fewer diesel-powered cars if they decide to go and work in Paris – or anywhere in France, for that matter. Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, wants her city to be diesel car-free by 2020. French Prime Minister Manuel Vallas wants to implement a nationwide pollution ranking system that will allow her and leaders in other municipalities to make it happen.

The Paris Plan

Hidalgo’s bold move is a multi-faceted approach to combatting pollution in one of the largest and most visited cities in Europe. It includes:

  • Alternate Driving Days:  When pollution levels in the capital skyrocketed last year, Paris brought in alternate driving days. This made public transit free and only allowed cars with even numbered plates to be on the road one day and odd-numbered plates the next. The next time they implement the approach, Hidalgo wants the highest polluting vehicles, diesel cars, banned outright until the alternate driving days are lifted.
  • Truck ban: Dispatcher training students who would like to work in France should take note that Hidalgo wants to ban Lorries (delivery trucks) from passing through Paris unless they have specific business in the city.
  • Almost car-free zones: The plan calls to ban all cars (except for those owned by local residents) from certain key city neighbourhoods. Delivery and emergency vehicles as well as busses and bicycles would remain unaffected. At first this would only be on weekends, but officials could see it expanding to weekdays very soon after the pilot project is over. These probably won’t be the ideal neighbourhoods for someone with auto mechanic training to open up shop.

France Makes it Possible

Europe has always been very diesel-friendly, with France being one of the top diesel consuming nations on the continent. Now, all that is about to change.
Prime Minister Vallas announced that the country will bring in a car identification system that will make it easy for local officials to tell which cars pollute the most. This in turn will make it possible to enforce a ban on certain cars in specific neighbourhoods, on specific days or from entire cities like Paris.
His approach is two-pronged, though. The second prong is economic.
The government knows that one of the main, if not the only reason people prefer diesel over petrol is it is a much cheaper fuel to use. This is due, in part, to taxation that gives it an advantage over gasoline. This will be reversed in the 2015 State Budget Measures.
There will also be economic incentives, such as a potential bonus of 10,000 euros for people getting rid of their diesel cars in exchange for electric vehicles.
What do you think of France’s plans to reduce the number of diesel cars on the road? Do you see similar plans  coming to North America in the future? 

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