France will ban all diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2040

He cited Swedish auto maker Volvo, which earlier this week announced it will switch to manufacturing exclusively electric or hybrid vehicles beginning in 2019. While Hulot did not detail how France would enact these plans, he emphasized that the "conditions" necessary to make them happen were clearly laid out by the plan.

"The government will take the initiative of proposing at a European level a new ambitious "Euro 7" standard and fixing as its objective the end of sales of cars emitting greenhouse gases in 2040", the plan notes.

France has Europe's second-largest vehicle industry.

"We announce that by 2040 the sales of cars with petrol and diesel engines will be stopped", Hulot said at the presentation of France's ecological development.

Electric vehicles will make up 54% of all light-duty vehicle sales by 2040, up from the 35% share Bloomberg was forecasting just previous year, according to a new report by the research group. Hybrid cars make up about 3.5 percent. For example, Hulot didn't lay out whether France would actually ban the sale of gas and diesel vehicles, or if a ban like that is even feasible. With aims to become a carbon-neutral nation by 2050, France's government is working swiftly to keep the country on track. In Germany, the government has pledged to put one million electric cars on the road by 2020.

France's announcement came as Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicted electric cars would come to dominate the automotive market more quickly and dramatically than previously thought.

Still, not everyone is convinced.

Others were far more effusive in their praise.

Hulot called the Trump administration's stance on the issue a "brutal attitude" but indicated there were still American partners, like non-governmental organizations, France could work with on climate issues. Pascal Canfin, head of WWF France, told France Inter radio that the policy was a welcome shift.

  • Neal Todd