Ban gasoline-powered cars from 2015?

April 27, 2009

Norway’s finance minister wants to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars from 2015.From then, Kristin Halvorsen (pictured left, in red jacket) says that new cars should be powered by alternative fuels such as electricity, biofuels or hydrogen or at least be hybrids, for instance able to use both gasoline and electricity.I went and spoke to her at the weekend about her proposal (for a story click here) — she reckons that it’s realistic even though it has little chance of becoming law even in a Nordic country that says it is a leader in fighting global warming. She says she’s the only finance minister in the world arguing for such a ban.She says people have grown too fond of cars powered by fossil fuels – treating them “like a member of the family” – and need tougher action to slow climate change.But her Socialist Left Party is only a junior partner in the three-party cabinet and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg does not support her party’s proposal. And some opposition parties accuse her of “climate populism” – latching onto public concern about global warming ahead of elections due in September.So is the ban a good idea?


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I think that it is an idea whose time has arrived. With electric and hydrogen cars just around the corner, something like this would give a needed shove to the automakers to accelerate their R&D for the aforementioned cars. This legislation would work far more easily in a country like Norway, which has a small population and very good mass transit infrastructure, than in a larger country.Perhaps if this legislation were enacted, other countries would follow suit, eventually prompting a dialogue in this country for similar laws.

Posted by John H. | Report as abusive

On the drive in to work, I was thinking that until people quit making their auto a fashion accessory, alternative vehicles will have a rough go. If the media and its celebrities take up the mantel and start promoting “boring” cars, they may have a chance.

Posted by Pete VanSon | Report as abusive

As long as societies adhere to free market principles, there will be little impetus to move away from fossil fueled cars. Manufacturers of fuel and machinery require a kick in the pants if we expect anything to get done. The hour is late brothers and sisters.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

What an ill though out idea. Great lets, buy a Prius. Oh yes that’s right over the operational lifetime they are more polluting than a new generation small diesel. But that’s OK she’s in politics and only needs to worry about headlines until the next election not actually doing something good in the long term. By the way you tube or Google giwizz crash test (the car in the background of the picture in the article) buy one of these cars and you won’t need to worry about the Earth dieing… You will first. Kristin Halvorsen 0, Common sense 1

Posted by John | Report as abusive

They obviously have a much better drug plan in Norway, than the USA.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Yay for Norway! I completely agree, and think this is a great idea! However, Norway stops way too short. Norway should disband Statoil, and ban any production of oil of gas from their country. Also, Norway should realize the EVIL of their 325+ billion dollar oil pension fund. It needs to help those third world countries who are suffering the worst from climate change caused by the sale of Norway’s filthy oil. They have become the worlds wealthiest country (per GDP) by greed at the expense of others!Norway is the worlds THIRD largest exporter of oil, Norway COULD take a real leadership position here.

Posted by Troy Baltic | Report as abusive

dear sirs no one ever mentioned the polution given off by the millons of less than 10 hp engines that are poluting the air every day. there are no regulations by the gov.i feel we schould change over to electric motors, it would save fuel and help to clean up the atmosphere and reduce noise . think about it millions of these killers running on a daily basis.all thats needed is some lawmakers that think. thanks bill

Posted by bill murrray | Report as abusive

Excellent idea. Anubius, what society do you know of that adheres to free market principals?

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

I am more concerned with feeding the existing 600 Million ICE’s that we have now.Solve todays problems first, then when brown coal is not making most of the electricity it may be a good idea.

Posted by Ern | Report as abusive

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