As governments look to make tighter emissions standards, carmakers are having to make drastic changes to line-ups, and towards ‘cleaner’ energy sources such as electric or hydrogen power. 

New Zealand’s government recently confirmed a number of options to make our country carbon neutral by 2050, and unsurprisingly, one looks to ban internal combustion-powered vehicles completely. 

Previously, the idea of banning petrol and diesel-powered imports by 2035 has been floated, but this new ban would encompass all gas-powered vehicles coming through our borders. 

As mentioned, this is just one of the four possible options that are currently being investigated by the government. The other three encompass alternatives to driving such as cycleways.

“The transport sector currently produces 47 per cent of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions and between 1990 and 2018, domestic transport emissions increased by 90 per cent,” said the minister of transport Michael Wood.

We won’t reach total consensus, but I am calling for a mature conversation, with an eye on a shared future. […] The pathways laid out in the report show it’s possible to meet our emission reduction targets, but big changes will be needed in the coming decades.

“There will be some hard choices to make, but it’s obvious we can’t continue with business as usual.”

When it comes to banning vehicles, one pathway looks to drop light vehicle use by 57 per cent by 2035, with 27 per cent of the national fleet being either electric or hybridised by this same point. 

It’s worth noting that while numerous countries have imposed bans of the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars, no country has looked into a ban on all pre-existing petrol-powered cars. 

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