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Could We Ban the Sale of Petrol and Diesel Cars Now?

Nations around the world will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the coming decades. What’s stopping us from doing it now?

The list of nations legislating to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars is growing. But these restrictions won’t come into effect for decades. Air pollution contributes to thousands of early deaths each year and the scandal known as Dieselgate, when vehicle manufacturers admitted tampering with emissions tests, made us more aware of the polluting power of the diesel engine. Automotive technology is advancing quickly, but will greener vehicles really replace the combustion engine? Hybrid and electric cars are better for the environment but more expensive, and petrol stations are easier to find than charging points.

This edition of the Inquiry asks, if we wanted to, could we ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars now?

(image: Cars sit in gridlock in heavy fog (pollution) in Beijing China. Photo Credit: Guang Niu/Getty Images)

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23 minutes

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