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Tesla will deliver its first Model 3s Friday. (AP / Justin Pritchard)

The U.K. will ban the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-driven vehicles starting in 2040 toward a goal of removing them from British roads a decade later and shifting the country to fully electric cars, per the Financial Times.

The prohibition, to be announced today, is driven by environmental policy — to bring down U.K. emissions within EU pollution standards. But, coming two weeks after France announced a similar ban, its impact could be much broader.

Why this matters: Previously, the Netherlands and India, too, said they were banning the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Saying and doing are different things. But taken together, the bans put serious weight behind bullish forecasts for electric car penetration, and could lead oil companies, carmakers, petro-states and geostrategists to recalibrate policies that forecast a much slower penetration of electric cars into the market.

What mainstream-priced forecasters say: Most big oil companies, government agencies and OPEC say fully electric cars will continue to represent only a few percentage points of annual sales through 2040 and possibly beyond. But more bullish projections, such as by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (see below), say that coming cost savings in batteries and electric drive trains will help lead to a transformation in which fully new electric cars surpass 50% of sales in 2040. By then, according to these forecasts, they will comprise more than 30% of the total fleet.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Such a shift would vastly cut global oil sales, hurting oil companies and countries that rely on oil exports for most of their economy, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Go deeper

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse under scrutiny for elite club affiliations

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in February. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Image

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Wednesday that he is a member of an exclusive Rhode Island sailing club that lacks diversity.

Why it matters: Whitehouse has repeatedly spoken out against systemic racism and come under scrutiny this week for his family's affiliation with elite clubs. This is the second such club accused of lacking diversity that the senator has been linked to in recent days

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.

2 hours ago - World

State Dept. fears Chinese threats to labor auditors

A space for media is designated by Chinese authorities near a mosque in the Xinjiang region of China. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department is concerned organizations performing supply-chain audits in China are coming under pressure from Chinese authorities.

Why it matters: U.S. law prohibits importing products made through forced labor, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to verify whether products from China are tainted.

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