France’s environment minister says the country will impose a ban on the sale of all gasoline- and diesel-powered by 2040 in order to “fight against climate change and (improve) French people’s daily lives.”

Nicolas Hulot, who was named to the country’s cabinet following the recent election of President Emmanuel Macron, said the proposed ban is part of a five-year plan to boost efforts to develop clean energy technology and fulfill commitments France made as part of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The news makes France the latest European nation to pledge a clean break from personal transportation powered by fossil fuels. The Netherlands and Norway both want gas and diesel vehicles gone from new-car showrooms by 2025, and Germany and India are considering similar policies for 2030.

At first blush, the announcement puts intense pressure on automakers, including France’s own Peugeot, Citroen and Renault, to bring its electric vehicle technology on line in time for the fuel ban. But a Stanford University researcher who has published a study on the way EVs will take over the industry suggests that by that time, there very well may not be any gasoline or diesel models left to regulate out of existence.

Some automakers are well on their way to being ready: most recently, Volvo made clear its commitment to electrified vehicles with its revelation that starting in 2019, every new model that bears the Swedish company’s name will be powered at least in part by electricity.

France’s gasoline ban plan includes incentives for the country’s drivers to scrap gasoline cars built before 2001 and diesels predating 1997 in favour of clean alternatives, along with a bonus to make that transition easier for poorer households.

(via The Independent)