Britain has banned the use of natural gas and diesel cars from 2040: electric cars are the future.

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Britain has banned the use of natural gas and diesel cars from 2040: electric cars are the future.

To promote the future of electric cars, the UK will ban the sale of new gas and diesel vehicles by 2040. Many European politicians and regulators believe electric cars are crucial to reducing air pollution.

It is illegal for British leaders to drive cars with petrol or diesel engines. Britain’s environment minister says the United States will ban the sale of new gas or diesel vehicles by 2040. The plan is to phase out all internal combustion engines by 2050, which has become a European sport. France and Norway have announced similar plans, and Germany is under increasing pressure. Speaking of an all-electric, airless European outlook, NPR’s Sonari Glinton joins our studio in Oakland, California.

SONARI GLINTON, wired: hey.

MCEVERS: so what’s the reason for banning gasoline in the UK? Isn’t this just climate change?

GLINTON: yes, it’s a real method of air quality. Air quality has become a very important political issue in Britain. In fact, electric cars and clean air are part of the election, part of a conservative platform in this year’s election. Pollution is getting better and better. But the key is, in many of Britain’s big cities, harmful pollutants, such as dust particles and nitrogen oxides, nitrogen oxides – these are the key components of smoke or some key components – these little drops. There is no doubt that this is about long-term climate change, but now there is a political issue. A controversial study has revealed that some 40,000 britons are prematurely linked to pollution.

MCEVERS: what about diesel cars on European roads with poor air quality?

GLINTON: well, yes. Diesel is more efficient than gasoline, but it is also dirtier. And it’s very difficult to remove contaminants. Part of the reason is that Volkswagen, the carmaker, was found to have cheated on emissions tests. Diesel has made headlines for cheating. Every carmaker in Europe is disadvantaged by its dependence on diesel. Vw is trying to save itself by turning to electric cars, with about two dozen electric vehicles coming out in the next few years.

MCEVERS: but in Europe or the United States, people don’t really buy a lot of electric cars. I mean, a few decades from now, all-electric cars will be real.

Greenton: well, I’m in this bay, and this area is the highest — the area that has the highest concentration of alternative fuel vehicles. Those are hybrids, electric cars, hydrogen cars and so on. And that’s only one tenth of that. You know, it’s not 100 percent. This is an infrastructure problem – you have to charge your car, so you need a place to recharge. But tesla has made a big bet on that. That’s what happened — you know, they’re delivering cars later this week. And consumers use these cars here the problem of less and less, because if Europe, China and India are electric cars, so there is enough electric cars sold to a car company.

MCEVERS: NPR’s Sonari Glinton. Thank you very much.

GLINTON: it’s always a pleasure.

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