Petrol and diesel cars in the Netherlands have a new use-by date – 2025 onwards.
The country’s politicians have moved to prevent the sale of such new cars beyond that date in an attempt to gradually phase in electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, which currently make up 10 per cent of the new car market.
The move was begun by the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), the junior member of the government coalition. It has since picked up support in the lower house of the parliament, but ultimately needs approval by the Dutch senate to become law.
But the Labour Party’s coalition partner, the centre-right VVD, has branded the plan as “unrealistic.” Its leader Halbe Zijlstra fears the proposed law would breach the country’s energy agreement, which commits the Netherlands to greener emissions targets by 2020.
PvdA leader Diederik Samsom says that the proposal would be feasible – and wouldn’t affect the energy agreement. “That agreement runs until 2023. We are free in what we do after that. We are ambitious, perhaps other parties are less so”, he said.
In 2013, the Netherlands achieved the lowest CO? emissions from new cars of all 28 EU countries at 109 grams per kilometer. Norway, not an EU member, had a similar figure. In contrast, Germany’s 2013 average CO? emissions from new cars was 136 gr/km. The UK’s 128 gr/km. New Zealand’s is a claimed 185 gr/km.
Samsom’s Labour Party initially wanted all petrol and diesel vehicles banned from the Netherlands’ roads in nine years’ time. It wants to filter them out in favour of a greener fleet.
But it relaxed its stance to allow those who buy such conventionally powered cars before the 2025 deadline to continue using them after it.
Until then, it will continue to discourage new-car buyers getting into petrol and diesel vehicles by turning them via eco-advertising campaigns towards hybrids and zero-emissions examples.
Similar plans have been proposed elsewhere in Europe. Norway’s capital Oslo is looking to ban private petrol and diesel cars completely by 2019 in a bid to cut emissions by 50 per cent.
The mayor of Paris has announced the city will be rid of diesel cars by 2020. London will introduce an Ultra Low Emissions Zone from 2020, where all vehicles inside the existing congestion charge zone will be hit with new emissions penalties. Other cities in England are planning clean-air zones by 2020 too.