France is going to kill off diesel-powered passenger vehicles, according to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who announced his intention to begin eliminating them from the nation’s roads, according to a report from Reuters, as part of a broader environmental effort that will include implementing a pollution rating system for vehicles next year.
“In France, we have long favored the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically,” Prime Minister Valls said in a speech, as quoted by Autoblog.
Under his new plan, France’s 2015 budget measures will attempt to reduce the tax advantage of diesel-powered vehicles versus gasoline-powered one in order to try and encourage consumers to choose other vehicles. Additionally, people swapping older diesels for electric vehicles could be entitled to a tax credit of up to €10,000 ($13,500).
On top of this, France will implement a pollution rating system for vehicles next year and will grant municipal governments the ability to limit access to the heaviest polluters. Prime Minister Valls believes that government and local authorities need to set an example by encouraging more environmentally friendly vehicle use, according to Fox News.
Unlike the gasoline-centric United States, where diesel is more commonly associated with big semi-trucks, about 80% of the passenger vehicles in France are diesel-powered, due in large part to the fact that the nation’s tax system makes diesel about 15% cheaper than gasoline, a policy that most countries in Europe have a similar version of, according to Automotive News.