The world is currently divided in its quest toward environmental sustainability. While some countries are establishing ambitious goals to reduce their carbon footprint, others are backing on previous objectives limiting further advances.
Only hours ago, the UK announced its plans to ban gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. The Kingdom, however, is not the first region to establish such goals since the new President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has also announced a similar objective. India has set an even more stringent target, putting 2030 as the limit to end fossil-fuel-powered vehicle sales. Countries like the Netherlands and Germany also want to be part of this trend and negotiations are currently underway to set a target to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles.
European governments might be commited to reach their new environmental goals but not everyone is happy about it. According to an interview from the Financial Times with Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer, a ban on fossil-fuel technology would be “absurd” at this point due to the technological gap between the UK and countries like China where battery research is a priority.
Companies’ discontent aside, Europe shows a strong environmental commitment that the US fails to mimic. President Donald Trump’s administration announced yesterday that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) CAFE standards for 2025 established by former President Barack Obama may be revised. If a new statement is issued, the NHTSA might freeze fuel efficiency standards to the 2021 goal of 41 miles per gallon (mpg), instead of the original 50 mpg expected by 2025. This decision could set back OEMs’ environmental goals and the potential US$1.7 trillion in fuel costs savings the US government expected.
“Even hinting at freezing these popular standards is a bad idea, so of course Trump is proposing to pump the breaks at the expense of the American people just to pad the pockets of big oil and auto executives,” said the environmental organization Sierra Club in an interview with CNBC.
The data used in this article was sourced from Automotive News, CNBC, CNN, Financial Times and The Guardian.