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Internal combustion engines on the way out

Ljubljana, 5 December - In one of the most surprising and arguably the most far-reaching news in 2017, the government adopted a strategy that would effectively outlaw the registration of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 by setting very strict CO2 emission standards. This would be coupled with a serious expansion of alt-fuel charging stations by vehicles paving the way for fleets of electric cars and an expansion of the currently modest car-sharing. Similar but much less strict rules would apply to lorries as well. The government branded the strategy as realistic, though environmental NGos said it could be more ambitious. In any case, it coincided with a surge in the sale of electric and hybrid-electric cars buoyed by generous state subsidies that made them competitive with cars with internal combustion engines despite lingering fears about range and battery life. Electric and hybrid vehicles still represent only a fraction of overall car sales, but they have been picking up market share fast: 900 electric or hybrid vehicles were sold in the first eight months of the year, almost triple the number sold in the same period in 2016.

Beijing, China
An electric car being charged.
Photo: Xinhua/STA

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© STA, 2017