Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
EU Transportation Technology

Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050 695

Posted by Soulskill
from the zombie-apocalypse-will-probably-take-care-of-it dept.
thecarchik writes "Can you imagine a future — thirty-nine years from now — where there are no engines humming, no exhaust smells, no car sounds of any kind in the city except the presumably Jetsons-like beeping of EVs? The European Commission can, and it has a transportation proposal aiming to do just that by 2050. Paris was the first city to suggest a ban on gas guzzlers in their city core, but this ban takes it to whole different level by planning to phase out all petrol cars completely from the city streets. While Paris was motivated by reduced pollution, the EU has broader aims of reduced foreign oil dependence, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased jobs within the EU, and improved infrastructure for future economic growth."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050

Comments Filter:
  • To expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by riverat1 (1048260) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:21AM (#35650148)

    If we are truly at peak oil petrol will probably be too expensive by then to use in the average vehicle by then anyway.

    • Re:To expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:38AM (#35650590)

      Who ever said regulations had to be rational?

      Wouldn't it just be better to keep tightening the emissions requirements on new cars until only electric cars qualify?
      If everyone were forced to drive 100mpg cars or cars with near-zero CO2 output, wouldn't the result effectively be the same -- but without having to resort to a "ban"?

      That way, people don't have to buy new cars immediately and we don't end up with landfills full of perfectly functional cars.

      • Re:To expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @06:17AM (#35650802)
        Works for lightbulbs. Dispite the popular ramblings of the internet, neither the EU nor US have actually banned incandescent bulbs - they just set efficiency standards high enough that no incandescent can achieve them.
        • Re:To expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lord Kano (13027) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @06:48AM (#35651000) Homepage Journal

          Works for lightbulbs. Dispite the popular ramblings of the internet, neither the EU nor US have actually banned incandescent bulbs - they just set efficiency standards high enough that no incandescent can achieve them.

          Just because you don't use the word "ban", doesn't mean it's not really a ban.

          LK

      • by Zebedeu (739988)

        It's how they're doing it in Germany.

        Since a few years ago, all vehicles were classified as either "red", "yellow" or "green", according to their emissions.
        Nowadays, if you want to go into a city, you have to have a sticker on your wind shield, and on the city limits there are signs telling you which classes are allowed.

        At start, all vehicle classes were allowed, but the plan is to gradually restrict it until only green vehicles are allowed into the city limits (most cities are currently at yellow).

        I suspec

        • Re:To expensive (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jez9999 (618189) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:53AM (#35652286) Homepage Journal

          The hilarious thing about Germany is, thanks to the Greens being in government for ages and the constant propganda spewing from Greenpeace et al., the German public are stongly against nuclear power. They're even shutting down their existing nuclear plants. How they expect to meet the huge increase in electricity demand on the grid that electric cars will cause without nuclear is beyond me; they're already getting 80% of their energy from... coal and gas. With no nuclear, they can throw vast amount of money at wind/solar and I predict they will still be spewing tons of crap out into the environment because of... coal and gas power stations.

          • by Zebedeu (739988)

            Man, you couldn't be more right.

            Unfortunately the anti-nuclear lobby is milking the Fukushima problems for all they're worth, and it seems to be working quite well for them.

            Oh well, another chance for China, Brazil and the other more practical nations to catch up.

      • That way, people don't have to buy new cars immediately and we don't end up with landfills full of perfectly functional cars.

        39 years isn't exactly immediately.

      • Clean energy is *NOT* a free market issue, or even a regulated market issue. It is one of the greatest issues of our time, and it requires complete social support--as we defend our homelands from intruders--as we protect our liberty and freedom--we ought protect our lifesupport, our environmet.

        There is a point where waiting for people to do the right thing on their own is not safe or wise.

        • Re:To expensive (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:53AM (#35652288) Journal

          Clean energy is *NOT* a free market issue, or even a regulated market issue. It is one of the greatest issues of our time, and it requires complete social support--as we defend our homelands from intruders--as we protect our liberty and freedom--we ought protect our lifesupport, our environmet.

          There is a point where waiting for people to do the right thing on their own is not safe or wise.

          So says the guy using an coal powered machine to make the rest of us feel guilty about the car we drive.

  • By 2050? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:26AM (#35650172) Homepage

    39 years away is a LONG time. Many politicians will have a chance to overturn this during that time.

    Or if you're an optimist, perhaps the free market will have beat them to the punch by then. Or you might point out that there already is a modern city without petrol cars. [wikipedia.org]

    • Venice (Score:5, Funny)

      by Zoxed (676559) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:56AM (#35650676) Homepage

      I am pretty sure Venice should be counted as "modern" and it is not just "petrol car" free but totally car free :-)

    • Amusingly, built with oil money.

      Amusing, but not surprising. The government of the UAE knows that the oil won't last forever. Right now they are rich almost beyond human comprehension, but it won't last. So they are using that oil money while they have it to try to kick-start other economic sectors with lavish projects, hopeing to become a future financial hub, tourist destination and resort for those of great wealth who seek privacy.

      This is also why they don't (usually) enforce their strict Islamic law o
    • Re:By 2050? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ShavedOrangutan (1930630) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:34AM (#35652776)
      Pushing something off a few years is a good way to dodge the political consequences (Obamacare). Pushing something off that far is just a feel-good act. They can tell their constituents that they eliminated automotive pollution without actually doing anything.
  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:26AM (#35650176)

    Because some countries (the UK) will probably just be one huge city by 2050.

  • UK already rejected (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xelios (822510) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:28AM (#35650186)
    Might be worth nothing that the UK has already rejected this idea [bbc.co.uk].
    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      The UK, don't you mean the current tory government?

      I liked this in the summary "no exhaust smells", sounds so much more cuddly than "breathing in carbon monoxide" and whatever else they spew into the city atmosphere.

  • by Xenna (37238) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:30AM (#35650194)

    The Soviets had so much success with their five-year plans.
    We're going to try and better them with our 40-year plans!

  • by no known priors (1948918) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:31AM (#35650204)

    The UK government has already said they don't like the plan. From the BBC UK rejects EU call for city centre ban on petrol cars [bbc.co.uk]:

    But UK Transport Minister Norman Baker said it should not be "involved" in individual cities' transport choices.

    "We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas," he said.

    It's certainly an interesting idea. And it seems, using the example of London's congestion charge, that it wouldn't be a bad thing. I certainly encourage more people to use public transport, and ride bikes.

    And for the Yanks who will complain they live in the suburbs, maybe lobby your local government for better public transport? And stop complaining, this is an article from Europe.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:51AM (#35650318)

      "We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,"

      Another politician outed himself as a retard who doesn't have any real arguments, so he resorts to stupid rants.

      • "We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,"

        Another politician outed himself as a retard who doesn't have any real arguments, so he resorts to stupid rants.

        A lot of Tories are against the EU, his rant is snide dig at supposed EU regulations. Unfortunately the regulation on "straight bananas" wasn't quite what the Eurosceptics thought it was - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6481969.stm [bbc.co.uk].

    • Speaking as someone who generally likes and supports cars and road transport in general; I'd be pretty damn AMAZED if by 2050 there is still a significant number of cars powered by petroleum left to ban, regardless of any targets (and yes, I do consider that to be a good thing).

      You might as well 'ban' broadband connections of less than 512kbps by 2050. This is just some politician making themselves look and feel important by legislating something that's going to happen anyway.

    • by 228e2 (934443)
      I want to hear more about rectangular bananas.
  • and too far in the north.
    In other words, a rather bad place to live and do agriculture.
    But then this permanent disadvantage has become our strength.
    We have to do things right, because we don't have the space for "badlands".
    We have to do things efficient, because we don't have resources to waste.
    And while cultural diversity makes trade difficult, it also serves as a constant reminder that there is more than one way to do it.

    In the long run the economy flourishes when it has to overcome challenges.
    European ca

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What are you talking about?
      Even though Europe is quite far in the north, its climate is perfect for agriculture thanks to the Gulf Stream.
      It is actually one of the most agriculturally privileged regions in the world, which is one of the reasons for its important role in the development of civilization and culture (if you don't have to worry too much about having enough to eat you can spend your time on making life easier and more enjoyable in other ways).

  • The EU area controls about 16% of the total world economy. That may sound small, but when an area like that takes a considered and coordinated stance like the one in the OP, and (knowing EU) is prepared to put significant legislative effort behind the decision, it would have a significant impact. 16% of the world market is too much to ignore, even discounting the manufacturers actually living in the EU area (for you foreign barbarians, about 500 million people lives here).

    A decision like this would cause gr

  • Outraged! (Score:5, Funny)

    by naota-kun (705771) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:05AM (#35650402)
    Outraged! Outraged, I say! Wait...Europe? 2050? I don't live there. Oh, and I'll be dead. Well then, carry on!
  • by bkmoore (1910118) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:10AM (#35650426)

    There's a lot of this going on in Europe and to a lesser extent, N. America. Make a commitment, but put it so far off into the future that you can take credit for being "green" or visionary without having to actually do anything or make any hard choices. If the technology works out, you get to take credit for it. If the technology fails, then it's some other person who gets to repeal the law, but you'll be long gone by then.

    Good stewardship of our natural resources is a good thing, but the problem with environmentalism is it has become a movement which can do no wrong and knows no self-criticism. Any inconvenience or failure is either a misunderstanding (stupid people), or poor implementation (the people are too stupid to to it right, so we have to make it simpler). So the EU will go on mandating Ethanol-based fuel additives which deplete the rain forests, energy-saving lightbulbs, which contain mercury and need to be properly disposed of, etc.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @06:32AM (#35650914) Homepage

      Here's the real story on this: Actually solving the environmental problems we collectively have is really expensive and inconvenient. But thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of environmentalists, the masses generally believe that the environmental problems like climate change exist and should be fixed, but at the same time don't want to pay for fixing them. What's happened over the last decade or so is that the PR and business types have figured out that it's far cheaper to pretend you're doing something about it than it is to actually do something about it. The public wants environmentalism at little-to-no personal cost, so what these folks are doing is pretending to give them just that.

      I'll give you a good example of this: thanks to the efforts of a lot of farmers and hippies going back since the 1970's, organic produce has developed a reputation (deservedly or not) for being tastier, more environmentally friendly, healthier, and better for small farmers. However, you could really only get the stuff at farmer's markets or food coops. So what the big agribusinesses did was went to the USDA, got words like "organic" and "free-range" defined for marketing purposes, put together farms that technically met that definition but were nothing like what the hippies were doing, and started selling the stuff in grocery stores as if it were the same thing (and in some cases, lying about that too, and just slapping the"organic" label on non-organic produce).

  • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:27AM (#35650524) Homepage

    Except the UK said "No", basically.

    But then, that's nothing new. Anyone who thinks that the UK is part of the EU in anything other than writing probably should visit here sometime.

  • by pablo_max (626328) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:34AM (#35650570)

    Seriously, how is it a stretch to imagine a future where the primary source of energy is not derived from burning dead dinosaurs and plants?
    Dont get me wrong, I love my Jeep! It is a hobby for me, but I certainly do not expect it will be my primary mode of transport in 20+ year. At least I hope to god we would have progressed a bit faster than that.
    The move off fossil fuels is just like anything else that's hard; if you don't start at some point, you will never get there.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @06:11AM (#35650768)
    We're talking of a ban occurring 40 years into the future. Most vehicles are 10 years old or less. I expect it's going to happen that hybrids and eventually electric vehicles replace combustion engines anyway. Of course moving to electric vehicles is one thing, but people shouldn't be driving them into cities without extraordinarily good reasons either, e.g. they live there, they're disabled or whatever. So impose congestion charges, pay & ride schemes and provide decent public transportation that lets people leave their cars at home or on the outskirts and travel the remainder of the way. It's not rocket science but it does need a coordinated and determined timeline to see it through.
  • The Real Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @06:15AM (#35650788) Homepage
    At first I thought that doing this by 2050 sounded way too long. Then I realised, the technology to make it possible will take 20 years, but the rest of the time will be to get enough people to actually realise that banging a metal block up and down inside a closed space by exploding a volatile chemical is really a very poor idea for obtaining motive power indeed. This methodology has had its day, time to move on.
    • Re:The Real Problem (Score:4, Interesting)

      by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <henrikstevn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:30AM (#35652726)

      The internal combustion engine was and for the near future still is the most economically viable, everyday practical and most lightweight means of generating motive power for cars and motorcycles.

      That may change within the next 20 years or so, in fact I personally hope it changes withing the next 5 or 10, so we can use what oil we have left for things we have yet to develop alternatives for.

      Electric power is close, but it's still not quite there for everyday usage. For a lot of people it's perfectly fine and the percentage will grow larger as battery tech and electric drivetrains are developed further. But for some things, motorcycles in particular, electric power is simply too heavy and too cumbersome to "refuel". For now.

  • The term "petrol cars", as I understand it, generally excludes Diesel-engine vehicles. Being as in many places in the EU Diesel-powered vehicles make up half or more of the vehicles on the road - including vehicles owned by individuals - this isn't that huge of a shift.

    Now, if they were to instead ban cars with internal combustion engines, that would be a huge shift.
  • by Syberz (1170343) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @07:01AM (#35651094) Homepage

    Laws like this are the only way to force car manufacturers to truly innovate with new technologies.

  • by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @07:59AM (#35651612) Homepage Journal

    Would be nice to have Canada follow in their footsteps

  • by scsirob (246572) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:25AM (#35652676)

    No, I cannot imagine cities without cars by 2050. I think it is very unlikely that will happen.
    Much more likely is Europe without a European Commission by 2050. These bureaucrats make themselves so incredibly impossible that whatever is happening in the middle-East right now, will also happen to the Bureaucrats in Brussels. My prediction is 2025 at the latest..

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman

Working...