As reported in a recent article in The Independent, the Dutch parliament will host a roundtable discussion in October that would see the sale of gas and diesel-fuelled cars banned from the roads by 2025. This may sound shocking but car access limits are popping up around Europe already. In Germany, for example, older cars that do not meet certain emissions standards are no longer allowed access to German cities.
The move would join the ranks of Norway and Denmark who have already made moves to develop out their electric car industries. The plan here and in other European countries is in response to meeting commitments set out in the Paris climate change agreement that calls for the reduction of greenhouse emissions to 80 percent less than the 1990 level. The plan also requires that the majority of passenger cars would be run on CO2-free energy by 2050.
“Dutch cities still have some problems to meet existing EU air quality standards and have formulated ambitions to improve air quality beyond these standards,” Richard Smokers, principal adviser in sustainable transport at the Dutch renewable technology company TNO told The Independent.
Jan Vos, a member of the country’s Labour Party, touted the success of the proposed ban as it passed through the Netherland’s lower parliament.
“We need to phase out CO2 emissions and we need to change our pattern of using fossil fuels if we want to save the Earth,” he told media site Yale Climate Connections.
There are still hurdles to overcome however, according to a spokesman for the Netherland’s Department for Climate, Air and Energy, the law is not guaranteed to pass after the discussions resume in October.
“The proposal is being considered, but there is still opposition to it,” they told The Independent.
According to a recent article posted to Quartz, sales of electric cars have dramatically increased in the Netherlands with an all-time high last December. The country has one of the lowest levels of CO2 emissions from new cars compared to other countries in the European Union.
As mentioned above, Norway and Denmark have a head start on these targets. Norway for instance hit its target of selling 50,000 electric cars three years ahead of its own target. This was largely attributed to strong financial incentives made available to purchasers of environmentally friendly models.
Denmark has also seen success around alternative energy production. The country produced excess electrical power from wind energy last July and was able to sell the excess to Germany, Norway and Sweden.
Making the biggest economic power in Europe, Germany, join this effort in our view depends on the development and production of performance based electric vehicles. Afterall, this is the country of the Autobahn, one of Germany’s Holy Grails.
As countries seek new ways to curb greenhouse emissions, a gas-free auto world may be on the horizon. How this impacts the way we approach home building will be meaningful in the infrastructure required in the garage to power the car of the future.