What Countries Have Banned Gas and Diesel Cars?

Governments worldwide have been doing a lot recently to fight climate change and protect the environment. One of the more serious changes has come in the form of bans on the sale of gas or diesel cars, and these bans are becoming more common. Here’s a look at all the countries that have banned gas and diesel cars so far. 

The major countries banning gas and diesel cars

The exhaust pipe systems of a diesel car from Cologne, Germany
A diesel car’s exhaust | Osama Faisal/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Countries have a lot of freedom to choose when and how they will be phasing out conventional internal combustion cars. Overall, though, most countries are simply banning the sale of brand-new gas or diesel-powered vehicles. As such, most people should still be able to drive around a regular car if they choose to.

For example, China wants to ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars by 2035. This is because China wants half of its new car sales to be either EVs, PHEVs, or other zero-emission vehicles. The other half, on the other hand, can be hybrids. Canada goes a bit further than that. Canada wants to implement a ban by 2035, but Canada also wants gas and diesel cars to be off the road by 2050. 

Elsewhere, Japan is a bit more ambitious. This is because Japan wants to ban sales by 2030. However, Japan isn’t alone on this front. The United Kingdom and France are two other big countries aiming to ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars by 2030.

Still, not all large countries are that ambitious. For example, according to The Driven, Spain is targeting 2040 for a ban on sales. Germany also wants to ban their sale by 2050, but there isn’t a concrete plan to do that just yet.

The smaller countries banning gas and diesel cars

Norway currently has the most ambitious law yet, according to The Driven. Norway wants to ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars by 2025. Among other relatively minor countries, 2030 is a more popular date. For example, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Ireland are all targeting 2030 for their bans. Elsewhere, Cape Verde wants to enact its ban by 2035, and Costa Rica wants it by 2050.

That being said, other countries have announced a ban or a phase-out, but not necessarily a date. For example, according to The Driven, Egypt, Taiwan, Portugal, and Sri Lanka have all announced a ban, but no date. Additionally, there’s Israel. While Israel hasn’t seemingly announced a ban, Israel wants 100% of its passenger cars to be EVs by 2030. 

U.S. states are doing this too

America is an exception, as there’s simply no law or regulation in the books just yet that bans the sale of new gas or diesel cars. However, states are allowed to create their laws, and California has done just that. California became the first state to set a timetable for the end of gas or diesel cars. Like other countries, California’s set its target for 2035. 

Other states are copying California. The other states following California’s lead are Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. Just like California, these states are aiming to ban the sale of brand-new gas or diesel cars by 2035. 

On top of that, many Americans are putting pressure on the federal government to do a similar ban nationwide. This hasn’t happened yet, but it seems like it’s only a matter of time. With so many countries and states phasing out fossil fuels, there will soon be very few automakers that make gas-powered cars, to begin with.

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