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Countries eye electric car future

The United States has joined a raft of other nations that have set timelines to phase out fossil fuel cars in favour of an electric future as the world seeks to curb the effects of climate change.

Here are some of the plans:

2025 for forerunner Norway

Norway wants all new cars to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2025.

The Nordic country, which is ironically the largest producer of oil in Western Europe, aims to have all new cars as “zero emissions” — meaning electric or hydrogen powered — by 2025.

UK, Singapore and Israel eye 2030

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year announced a 10-point plan for “a green industrial revolution” to tackle climate change, which included banning petrol and diesel new vehicle sales by 2030.

Singapore and Israel have set a similar deadline.

US halfway there in 2030

Unlike other countries, the United States is not banning all fossil fuel cars just yet.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a target for half of all cars sold in the United States to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

His plan includes both fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids, which still have combustion engines.

California has set its own target to get fossil fuel cars off the road, with a rule mandating that all in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks be zero emissions by 2035.

Canada has set a 2040 target.

EU targets 2035

The European Commission wants to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, under a massive plan to fight climate change unveiled in July. The ban would include hybrids.

Within the European Union, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden have set a more ambitious target of 2030.

European automakers have expanded their offerings of electric and hybrid cars, and sales have soared in Europe, overtaking the Chinese market last year. But fully electric cars represented just 7.5 percent of sales.

Vague targets in China, Japan

China, the world’s top polluter and biggest car market, has not set a date but domestic automakers have invested heavily in electric cars, thanks to generous subsidies. 

The government announced in 2017 plans to gradually phase out fossil fuel cars, without setting a date to get them off the road.

Beijing is aiming for 25 percent of new car sales to be new energy vehicles — which includes electric and hybrid vehicles — by 2025. They should dominate the market by 2035, according to a 2020 government document.

Japan’s government wants to ban sales of fossil fuel cars by the middle of 2030.

Electric and hybrid vehicles will be the only new sales allowed in the market.

Developing nations

Some emerging countries have set targets, though new car sales are low and electric vehicles are expensive in those markets.

India wants electric cars to represent 30 percent of sales by 2030.

Cape Verde wants clean cars to account for 100 percent of the market in 2035 while Costa Rica has set a 2050 date.

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