What will happen to non-electric cars after they are banned from Europe?
Many countries have plans to ban the sale of gasoline vehicles, most notable are European countries. They have stated that by 2040 a ban on gasoline vehicles will take effect. France will lead the gasoline ban to take place in 2040 (see The Guardian). There are also cities like Paris and Copenhagen that are imposing their own ban on new gasoline and diesel cars (see Independent).
This has some people concerned about what will happen with their personal vehicle when the time for the ban arrives. Will they have to get rid of their vehicle, or will the government offer to buy the vehicle from them?
The Future of Electric Cars
The most important part of all of this is that there is a timeline. This is more important for automotive companies than it is for the general public. Having a ban date of 2040 will force automotive companies to invest in the electrification of their fleet or risk being shut out of the European market.
For the consumer, the European ban may turn out to be more like the plan that the United Kingdom has in place for 2040, as reported by NY Times. In the U.K. there is also a planned ban on gasoline vehicles though there will not be direct replacement action taken. It is clearly identified that gasoline vehicles currently on the road would not be illegal, but rather gasoline vehicles would no longer be for sale as new cars.
This ban means that by 2040 you would no longer be able to buy a gasoline vehicle. Current vehicles would be grandfathered in, just like when there were pollution updates that took effect in the 1970s in the United States.
In the 1970s the main cars being sold were muscle cars, prior to the oil crisis. They were made with a focus on engine power at the expense of everything else, this included fuel economy and pollution control. After new cars were forced to have the pollution controls like a catalytic converter and mufflers, muscle cars now had less power and similar fuel consumption.
It didn’t take long for consumers to transition to smaller cars with smaller engines that could get you farther than the next gas station. At this point, even muscle cars that were on the road were not repossessed or bought back from the owners. People still kept these cars for the memories of days before the oil crisis.
A whole generation that grew up during the height of muscle cars started car shows to showcase the share the memories. I’m not saying that this will happen with gasoline cars after they are no longer available new. It could happen in a handful of decades where there could be car shows with gasoline vehicles like those found in the Fast and Furious movie franchise.
Here is a list CNN has put together of countries that have dates for their gasoline ban on new cars, this also includes a diesel ban.
If you are worried that your gasoline car will be taken by the government, I wouldn’t worry about that event happening. Since this is a gradual transition there will be adoption happening at an increased rate up to the year 2040. I would not be surprised if the majority of cars on the road prior to 2040 are electric cars. The future looks good for electric cars in Europe. Infrastructure has been rolling out all over Europe in the last couple of years and is planned to continue. There would be nothing stopping you from gradually getting used to electric vehicles. I do not expect there to be a big backlash when the ban takes effect.