Who Is First to Abandon ICEs?

Interested people are trying the Hyundai E-Kona

Manufacturers of gasoline and, especially, diesel vehicles are under growing pressure to come up with new options. At the latest since the German transportation minister, Andreas Scheuer, stated in mid-September 2018 that software updates alone would not be enough to fix diesel emissions, the benefits of diesel models have been declining by the hour. Meanwhile, politicians in many regions of the world have been crafting new legislation to bring the era of combustion engines to an end.

While the Green Party is the only one in Germany to call for a total ban on internal combustion engines in new cars, other parts of Europe have gone ahead and passed legislation that, in some regions at least, will translate into a complete ban on diesel technology. Many countries and big cities, and businesses, have already decided to abandon the fuel.

Paris is planning to impose comparatively stringent emissions limits and might bar diesel cars from driving into the city as early as 2024, when it hosts the Olympic Summer Games. Although a decision on the issue has yet to be reached, the city council has already moved to block internal combustion engines from driving on Greater Paris roads by 2030, while the French government intends to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040.

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In Italy, the situation is pretty much the same. Rome will, for the benefit of its population and its many historic buildings, hit the brakes in less than a decade and bar privately owned diesel cars from entering the city center starting in 2024. By 2030, drivers of diesel cars will have to deal with driving restrictions in Milan as well.


Brussels aims to get diesel vehicles off its streets in 2030. Whether the city-wide ban will also apply to gasoline-powered cars has yet to be made clear. Since early last year, the city has banned diesel vehicles that are older than 20 years from driving around its low emission zones.

On Spain’s Balearic Islands, a ban on gasoline and diesel engines in new cars will take effect in 2025. However, owners of ICE delivery vans will most likely be allowed to register their cars until 2035. To meet COP21 climate targets, fossil fuels will no longer power anything on the islands by 2050.

Last September, Iceland said it would include the phase-out of gasoline and diesel in its 34-item climate action plan. The island country in northern Europe intends to ban sales of new ICE cars by 2030 and be carbon-neutral by 2040. It not only wants to see its charging network grow and electric vehicle incentives increased, but it also intends to promote climate-friendly fuels such as hydrogen and methane. Reportedly, it will even abandon the use of bunker fuel for marine vessels and ferries and instead install renewable energy systems at ports by 2025.

Two years ago, in September 2017, Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, announced that new ICE cars could no longer be registered starting in 2032. The following March, the national Transport Scotland agency set out more detailed plans that show it would allow drivers to register battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles only. Regular hybrids won’t be accepted.

  ICE ban effective from
Balearic Islands and Norway 2025
China, Denmark, Netherlands, India, Ireland, Iceland and Israel 2030
Scotland 2032
Denmark (hybrids) 2035
Taiwan (motorcycles) 2035
British Columbia, California, France, Spain, the UK and Taiwan (last only passenger cars) 2040
Germany 2050

Likewise, many automakers are saying goodbye to the diesel era, including all but one of those based in Japan. Except for Mazda, they intend to stop shipping ICE cars to Europe altogether. BMW is pulling its diesel models from North American markets to focus on plug-in hybrids and gasoline vehicles, while Cadillac is ditching diesel completely to dedicate more resources to vehicle electrification. Among the brands of the Volkswagen Group, Porsche and Bentley have distanced themselves from the discredited technology. PSA has not made any final decision on the matter but has halted development of new diesel cars. And Volvo is now offering only electric motors and hybrid engines.


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