Written by Crystal Chow, CNN
Since the 1970s, when consumer gas prices set off a major shift away from the internal combustion engine, the electric car has remained the province of scientists and forward-thinking engineers. Yet the skyrocketing cost of electric batteries and President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies have led more than half of world’s largest automakers to set a date for phasing out gasoline and diesel cars and trucks.
It took five years and 18 governments — including the United States — to reach a deal to phase out gasoline cars and light trucks by 2040 at Paris Accord targets. Today, six automakers and 30 countries have all agreed to make the move.
WHO HAD THE BIGGEST CHANGE?
“I think I speak for most in the automotive industry when I say this represents the most significant environmental development in the history of the global auto industry,” Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, said in a statement.
The largest emitters of global warming pollutants could be expected to feel the consequences first, and several have voiced their intention to discontinue heavy vehicle gasoline engine sales.
Manufacturers such as BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, Volvo, Volkswagen and Ford all said they would eliminate diesels by 2030. Toyota, Nissan and Daimler Volkswagen said their passenger vehicles sold in Europe would drop the sale of internal combustion engines and switch to fuel cell or pure electric power by 2040.
Notably absent were Volkswagen, GM and Toyota — the three major companies that will dominate the global auto market for decades to come.