Government wants to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars from 2040

A traffic jam near the airport in Malaga.
A traffic jam near the airport in Malaga. / SUR
  • The move is within a climate change bill that also aims for every town over 50,000 people to have low emission controls on their central areas by 2023

Central government has announced plans to ban the sale and registration of cars and vans with engines that work on petrol, diesel or other fossil fuels by 2040. In addition, it wants all these CO2-creating vehicles to be off the roads by 2050.

This is one of the main measures in the draft of a new Climate Change and Energy Transition law which has been sent out to political parties and interest groups to get their reaction.

It is hoped that a final version will be ready for Cabinet approval by the end of the year before being voted on by MPs as soon as possible.

The 2040 move aims to meet European and global climate-change reduction targets and follows closely similar moves already approved in France and Britain, but is less ambitious than Norway (2025) and Germany (2030).

In Malaga province and the Costa del Sol, the starting point is made more complicated by the relative average age of private vehicles compared to other parts of Spain. Here the average is 13 years, compared to a national average of 12 years.

"The first thing we need to do is renew existing cars with incentives for scrapping them, like in other countries," said Carlos Oliva, president of AMA, the Malaga automobile association.

"Talking about 20 years from now is all well and good, but short term measures to retire heavily polluting vehicles and replace them with newly made ones are a priority."

Car manufacturers' groups have said the 2040 measure is too much too soon and that it could have an effect on jobs, however the government has defended the plan saying that the rate of manufacturers introducing electric cars onto the market is too slow.

Another part of the bill says that by 2023 all Spanish towns and cities with a population over 50,000 must have their central areas only accessible to low emission cars, as has been done in Madrid.