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There will be no petrol or diesel cars on sale in the UK by 2050*

*According to a new agreement signed last week. Quick, go buy a Tesla!

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Top Gear is fond of a well-sorted V8. And V10. And V12. The international community, it seems, is less fond of such engines.

So at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris, an agreement has been reached to wipe such engines from the face of the planet. Or at least part of the planet.

The agreement states that, by the year 2050, all new cars sold in eight US states, and five countries including the United Kingdom must make zero tailpipe emissions.

Which means no more internal combustion engines, Brits. The UN conference saw the International ZEV (that’s Zero Emission Vehicles) Alliance committing to the goal of phasing out the sales of petrol and diesel cars in the next 35 years.

“We will strive to make all passenger vehicle sales in our jurisdictions ZEVs as fast as possible, and no later than 2050,” the statement reads.

This aim will be achieved by providing financial incentives on ZEV cars – like the current £5k subsidy on electric vehicles in the UK – investing in the ZEV infrastructure, “removing government barriers” and making government fleets, plus medium- and heavy- duty transport, all zero emission too.

“Accelerating ZEV deployment will achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions of more than one billion tons per year by 2050,” the statement says.

The UK transport minister Andrew Jones added: “The UK already has the largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the EU, and the fourth largest in the world and today’s pledge reaffirms our commitment to ensuring almost every car and van is a zero emission vehicle by 2050.”

The drive towards zero emissions doesn’t necessarily spell the end of driving fun: witness Tesla’s Model S P85 D. Porsche’s Mission E – the wild, 600bhp all-electric performance saloon recently confirmed for production – and hybrid stuff like BMW’s i8 also prove there’s scope for this brave new dawn to be… fun.

Will a zero-emissions world bring about glorious technological innovation? Or will you mourn the departure of proper petrol-gargling engines?

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