Volvo announces a total shift to electric vehicles; mining giant Glencore reportedly in a huge deal to sell cobalt for new-generation power packs ... this week's headlines have sent a high-voltage shock through the debate over carbon-friendly motoring. Laura Frykberg asks whether a decisive, wider move has now begun in an industry under increasing scrutiny by environmentalists.
It may still tail Tesla...But Volvo's move towards going green.. Appears to be part of a major change of direction for the industry. And those who legislate it... France announcing on Friday that by 2040, it too will end diesel and petrol vehicles sale.. And become carbon neutral ten years after that. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH ECOLOGY MINISTER, NICOLAS HULOT, SAYING: "We want to make France the number one in the green economy. Making the Paris Climate Agreement an opportunity for creativity, innovation and employment." France may have taken a leaf out of China's book. One of its battery makers, which sells to Volkswagen - buying up to 20,000 tonnes of cobalt from mining giant Glencore... A key ingredient for the batteries used to power electric vehicles. But some warn the industry's break from fossil fuels, could be stalled. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "What you do need is an infrastructure. The amount that has been spent for one to be able to fill one's car with the energy that is required. They're just not there." Neither are sales at Tesla's largest market ..which fell 24 percent in April from a year ago.. Customers said to be waiting for the new Model 3 launch, a potentially make or break moment for company. Another green mode of transport is making a splash though. France's environment minister christening the world's first all clean energy boat, before it embarks on a six year tour around the world... Although clean doesn't mean cheap - the whole project costing around 5.7 million dollars.